FRANKFURT May 6 Germany's Linde, the
world's No. 2 industrial gases producer, reported on Monday a
12.6 percent gain in first-quarter operating profit, boosted by
last year's acquisition of U.S.-based Lincare.
Operating profit for the three months through March came to
953 million euros ($1.25 billion), exceeding an average analyst
estimate of 921 million euros in a Reuters poll.
Lincare, a provider of oxygen and respiratory therapy
services to patients in the home, contributed 397 million euros
of Linde's first-quarter sales of 3.99 billion euros.
($1 = 0.7624 euros)
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan)