Air Liquide, Linde benefit from growth in healthcare

FRANKFURT Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:07am EDT

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - France's Air Liquide (AIRP.PA) and Germany's Linde (LING.DE), the world's two biggest industrial gases producers, saw their strategy of expanding their healthcare businesses pay off in the second quarter.

Air Liquide said on Tuesday it expects full-year net profit to rise "barring a degradation of the environment" after restructuring costs caused a 4 percent decline in first-half profit to 752 million euros ($997 million).

In the second quarter alone, revenues at its Healthcare business, which accounts for 16 percent of group sales, jumped about 14 percent thanks to the acquisitions of French provider LVL Medical and Gasmedi in Spain as well as a rise in the number of home healthcare patients.

Linde meanwhile reported a 14.5 percent gain in quarterly operating profit to 1.01 billion euros ($1.34 billion), compared with consensus of 999 million euros in a Reuters poll, thanks to the acquisitions of U.S.-based Lincare and rival Air Products' (APD.N) European homecare business.

Linde said it was still aiming for an increase in sales this year and operating profit of at least 4 billion euros thanks to the expected earnings contribution from Lincare.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Christian Plumb; Editing by Victoria Bryan)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article