Air Liquide, the world’s top industrial gases company, has posted a better than expected increase in first half net profit. It was up 8.1% to 601 million euros. Air Liquide said it has seen no sign of a slowdown in demand. It is the latest company in the sector to come up with strong earnings. A recent report from Standard and Poor’s said the industrial gases industry is relatively resilient to the effects of the global credit crunch and higher energy costs.