– French industrial gas company Air Liquide reported better-than-expected first-quarter sales on Wednesday, as higher pricing offset a sharp increase in energy prices.
“There was strong growth in this first quarter, which reflects a good level of activity and demonstrates the group’s resilience in a context marked, notably, by inflation and the war in Ukraine,” Chief Executive Officer Benoit Potier said in a statement.
Euro zone inflation in March was at record highs as energy prices were 44.4% higher than a year earlier, the EU’s statistics office said in April.
The company, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals, reported sales of 6.89 billion euros ($7.33 billion) for the first three months of the year, above analysts’ forecast of 6.76 billion euros.
Gas and services activities, which represent 95% of the group’s sales, reached 6.59 billion euros, above analysts’ 6.48 billion euros forecast.
The group reiterated that it was confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver recurring net profit growth at constant exchange rates in 2022.
($1 = 0.9395 euros)