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Linde 2013 Profit Increases; Proposes Higher Dividend - Quick Facts

German industrial gases producer Linde AG (LNAGF.PK, LNEGY.PK) reported that its earnings attributable to shareholders for fiscal 2013 increased to 1.317 billion euros from the previous year's 1.232 billion euros, with earnings per share improving to 7.10 euros from 6.93 euros in the prior year.

Earnings after tax were 1.430 billion euros, up from 1.341 billion euros in the previous year.

Earnings before taxes on income or EBT rose by 3.5 percent to 1.794 billion euros from 1.734 billion euros last year.

Annual group revenue grew by 5.2 percent to 16.655 billion euros from the prior year's 15.833 billion euros. Exchange rate effects increasingly acted as a brake on revenue trends during the reporting period. After adjusting for these effects , the increase in revenue was 9.7 percent.

The Executive Board and Supervisory Board will propose a resolution at the Annual General Meeting that a dividend of 3.00 euros per share be paid. This is an increase of 11.1 percent compared with the prior-year dividend of 2.70 euros per share.

After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the company expects solid growth in Group revenue in the 2014 financial year. It anticipates that it will achieve a moderate improvement in Group operating profit.

After adjusting for exchange rate effects, Linde expects to achieve a moderate increase in revenue and operating profit in the Gases Division in 2014 when compared with the 2013 financial year.

Linde expects to achieve solid revenue growth in the Engineering Division in 2014 compared with 2013. It anticipates an operating margin of around 10 percent.

In the 2016 financial year, Linde is still seeking to achieve Group operating profit of at least 5 billion euros and a return on capital employed (reported ROCE) of around 13 percent (or adjusted ROCE of around 14 percent).

These medium-term targets were set at the end of 2012 based on the assumption that there would not be any significant shifts in exchange rates compared with the rates prevailing at that time. However, if the unfavourable exchange rates which applied at the end of 2013 were to continue to apply over the coming years, this would reduce Group operating profit in 2016 by around 400 million euros and might also have an adverse impact on return on capital employed.

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