Linde Group says that it had a stable business performance in the first quarter of 2016 after adjusting for exchange rate effects. Linde also achieved a significant increase in operating cash flow in the first three months of the year.

In the first quarter of 2016, group revenue fell by 3.1% to €4.262 billion, when compared with the figure for the first quarter of 2015 of €4.398 billion. Operating profit dropped by 1.9% to €991 million (2015: €1.010 billion). The main factors contributing to this decline were adverse exchange rate effects and the expected lower contribution to revenue and earnings made by the Engineering Division. After adjusting for exchange rate effects, group operating profit rose by 0.6%, a small increase on the figure for the first three months of 2015.

In the gases division, Linde generated revenue in the first quarter of 2016 of €3.621 billion, a decrease of 1.4% when compared with the figure for the prior-year period of €3.672 billion. After adjusting for exchange rate effects and changes in the natural gas price, revenue increased by 2.9%.

‘We are able to report a stable start to the year, in line with our forecasts,’ said Dr Wolfgang Büchele, CEO. The group is reportedly expecting to achieve an increase in revenue and earnings in the 2016 financial year of 4% after adjusting for exchange rate effects, although the challenging market environment could result in a decrease of up to 3%.

This story uses material from Linde, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.