* Q2 oper profit 847 mln eur vs Rtrs poll avg 846 mln
* Q2 sales 3.67 bln eur vs poll 3.66 bln
* Confirms FY outlook
* Ups medium-term oper profit outlook on Lincare purchase
* Shares up 0.6 percent
FRANKFURT, July 27 Linde, the world
No. 2 industrial gases producer, confirmed its full-year outlook
for higher sales and earnings after quarterly operating profit
rose in line with consensus thanks to emerging market demand.
The Munich-based company said on Friday it still sees 2012
revenue and operating profit increasing from a year earlier
thanks to a full pipeline of on-site projects and acquisitions
for its homecare business, which provides medical gases to
The upbeat outlook contrasts with recent cautious comments
by U.S. rivals Praxair, Air Products and Chemicals Inc
and Airgas, all three of which have all trimmed
their full-year targets on weakness in the Asian and European
Linde still posts its highest growth rates in Asia,
benefiting especially from demand in China. Revenue at its
Asia-Pacific gases business rose 13 percent in the second
quarter, helping to push group sales up 5.9 percent to 3.67
billion euros ($4.51 billion), a touch above consensus.
Quarterly adjusted earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 6.2 percent to 847
million euros, bang in line with market estimates.
Linde also revised upward its medium-term profit target,
citing its acquisition of U.S.-based Lincare, saying it
now expected to post 4 billion euros of annual operating profit
in 2013, one year earlier than previously forecast.
But it also said it now expects to reach its 14 percent
target for return on capital employed in 2015, a year later than
Linde announced plans earlier this month to buy Lincare, a
provider of oxygen and respiratory therapy services to patients
in the home, in a $4.6 billion deal.
The bulk of Linde's customers are in the steel-making, oil
refining and semiconductors industries but its gases are also
used to help asthma patients breathe more easily and lift the
balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Linde trades at 14.1 times its estimated 12-month forward
earnings, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, which weights
analysts' estimates according to their track record.
That is a discount to French rival Air Liquide and
U.S.-based Praxair, which trade at multiples of 16.5 and 16.6,
respectively, but a premium to Air Products' 13.1.