By Ed Frankl 
 

Air Liquide SA said Wednesday that 2021 net profit rose despite facing a sharp jump in energy prices.

Net profit for the year was 2.57 billion euros ($2.92 billion), compared with EUR2.44 billion in 2020, the industrial-gases company said.

Group revenue came to EUR23.34 billion, 14% higher than the previous year, after activities improved markedly across all areas, Air Liquide said.

Net profit was a touch above of expectations of EUR2.56 billion, while revenue beat views of EUR23.13 billion, according to analysts' estimates provided by the company.

Air Liquide said it faced a sharp and sustained rise in energy prices, though it improved its operating margin by adapting its pricing policy alongside EUR430 million in efficiencies.

"The group achieved an excellent performance, in spite of the ongoing pandemic and the strong inflationary pressures mainly related to the sharp increase in energy prices in the second half," Chief Executive Benoit Potier said.

For 2022, the Paris-based company said it is confident it will further increase its operating margin, and deliver recurring net profit growth, at constant exchange rates, assuming no significant economic disruption.

Air Liquide proposed a dividend of EUR2.90 a share for its shareholders' meeting in May, up from EUR2.75 last year.

 

Write to Ed Frankl at edward.frankl@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 16, 2022 02:05 ET (07:05 GMT)

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