Solid performance in the first half
Editorial with Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO
In a global economic environment that I would describe as uncertain, your Group delivered sustained growth in sales and earnings in the first half of 2015. This growth is driven by the strong performance of our Healthcare and Electronics businesses, by the developing economies, by a favourable currency impact, and by a quarter on quarter improvement in Large Industries. All geographies posted growth in the first half. Air Liquide’s operating performance is solid, reflected in a high operating margin and another increase in net profit. The investment decisions made over the semester totalled 1.3 billion euros; they are mostly related to industrial projects, but also cover some acquisitions in the healthcare sector.
The semester was also marked by the start-up of twelve production units, including the hydrogen and carbon monoxide unit in Dormagen, Germany, and the Yanbu site in Saudi Arabia. The Yanbu project, which is the largest industrial investment in the history of your Group, boosts our overall hydrogen production capacity by nearly 20%. There is an article in interactions about this project, which illustrates both the quality and competitiveness of our technological offering and our operational know-how around the world.
Lastly, I invite you to explore the new air liquide website, especially the dedicated section for shareholders, which has new features and lets you stay connected to your Group with an optimized user experience on any device: computer, tablet or smartphone. We are continuing to innovate so we can give you an ever-higher level of service by leveraging all the possibilities inherent to digitisation. There is an article about these developments in your newsletter.
Thank you for your loyalty and enjoy your reading!