Linde ups low end of 2022 earnings view despite cuts to Russian ops

Linde Group logo is seen at a company building in Munich-Pullach, Germany August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

April 28 (Reuters) - Linde (LIN.N), , the world's largest industrial gases company, on Thursday raised the lower end of its full-year earnings guidance as higher prices and strong volumes helped offset cuts to its activities in Russia.

The U.S.-German company, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals, expects adjusted earnings per share to grow by between 11% and 13% this year, excluding currency effects.

Its previous projection had envisaged a range of 10% to 13%.

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Linde said the guidance range takes account of expectations that there will be no Russian earnings from the middle of the year after winding down its operations in the country.

In March the company said it was suspending all business development activities in Russia, ceasing supply to certain customers, and divesting industrial assets to reduce its footprint in the country.

"The business model continues to deliver in any environment, demonstrating resiliency during economic downturns and significant growth during the recovery," Chief Executive Sanjiv Lamba said in a statement.

The company posted first-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $2.93, up 18%, beating the $2.78 forecast from analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Linde's Frankfurt-listed shares were down 0.8% as of 1025 GMT.

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Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Editing by David Goodman and Jan Harvey

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