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Linde: results in line ahead of merger with Praxair

(CercleFinance.com) - Linde has published annual accounts that are broadly in line with expectations, coupled with fairly cautious forecasts for 2018, pending the finalisation of its merger with Praxair, which is scheduled for the second half of the year.

Last year, the German industrial and medical gas giant's revenues reached 17.1 billion euros, up 2.1% excluding FX factors. Meanwhile, EBITDA rose by 4.1% under the same terms, to 4.2 billion euros, meaning a margin of 24.6% (+40 basis points).

Regarding its outlook for 2018, Linde expects (again excluding FX factors) growth in revenues of up to 4%, with an "operating result" of up to 5% higher.

What about the mega-merger with the US group Praxair, which is the major deal for Linde at present? Management says that this should be finalised in the second half of 2018. The most important authorisations still need to be obtained, says an analyst, i.e. from the European Commission (a priori this summer), and US authorities.

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