Interview with Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO
Interview with Benoît Potier,
Chairman and CEO
Our ideas create value over the long term
The Group’s performance in 2013 was solid, as attested to by growth in all Gas & Services business lines and across all geographic zones. This performance reflects the return to a more supportive economic climate during the year and an increase in the pace of growth in the United States and China, the subject of one of the articles in this issue of interactions. Last year, the Group also delivered another improvement in operating income and net profit growth. Above all, this performance makes it possible for the Group to pursue a policy to which it is fully committed, that of offering shareholders regular returns on their investment. Accordingly, the Board of Directors will ask the shareholders to approve the payment of a €2.55-per-share dividend as well as the allotment of one free share for every 10 shares held at the Annual General Meeting on May 7, 2014.
Air Liquide’s world leadership in its market is proven not only by its consistent and solid performance but also by its ability to continually introduce new ideas and innovate. With interactions, our goal is to show you our latest products, such as the TAKEOTM medical oxygen cylinder. The year 2013 was also one of rapid technological advances, including the inauguration of the world’s largest helium refining facility in Qatar and the acceleration of our innovation processes thanks to the creation of dedicated structures. Members of the Shareholders’ Communication Committee were also invited to discover the i-Lab, our laboratory for new ideas, as well as our facility in Sassenage, near the city of Grenoble, dedicated to new markets such as hydrogen for clean mobility.
Our commitment to innovation is also embodied in our new tagline, “Creative Oxygen”, which conveys the boundless resourcefulness and creativity of our teams, whose ideas create value over the long term. It also embodies the company’s history, whose point of departure – oxygen itself – a vital resource for industry and health continues to inspire us every single day.
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