Another year of growth in 2014
Editorial with Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO
In a mixed environment, Air Liquide’s 2014 performance is solid. Group consolidated revenue reached €15,358 million, an increase of +4.5% on a comparable basis*. Revenue growth in 2014 was primarily driven by strong momentum in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and the developing economies, and by robust Electronics activity. In Europe, activity was driven primarily by further development of the Healthcare and growth in Eastern Europe. Incidentally, we think you will enjoy the article on Poland in this issue of interactions. In 2014, Air Liquide continued to improve its competitiveness, as attested to by the improvement in our operating margin. Lastly, and thanks to net profit growth in 2014, we are able to propose another increase in the dividend, taking into account the attribution of one free share for every 10 held in 2014.
In 2014, your Group also continued to invest in growing markets and took initiatives to accelerate innovation. Air Liquide decided to invest nearly €100 million in France to modernize the Paris-Saclay Research Center, for example, and you can read about it in this edition of your newsletter.
At the beginning of the year, we signed a major long-term contract with Sasol, a leader in energy and chemicals, to build, manage and operate the world’s largest ASU (Air Separation Unit), in South Africa. This contract, part of a long partnership history spanning 40 years, demonstrates your Group’s unwavering focus on creating long-term value for its customers and for all of its stakeholders.
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*Adjusted for currency, natural gas and significant scope impacts.