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Linde plays down gas supply fears and raises 2022 earnings guidance

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Linde Group logo is seen at company building in Munich

By Bartosz Dabrowski and Andrey Sychev

(Reuters) -Linde, the world's largest industrial gases company, on Thursday said gas supply issues in Europe would not be devastating to its operations and raised its full-year earnings guidance.

Frankfurt-listed shares in the U.S.-German company were up 2.3% as of the market's 1530 GMT close after Chief Executive Sanjiv Lamba told a conference call that volatility in Linde's operations would be limited.

"Because we produce gases which are critical either from a medical or a process safety perspective, the German government ... allocates us on a preferential or priority basis," Lamba said.

He added that Linde was in intense conversations with the German government around electricity and energy allocations.

Linde said it expects adjusted earnings per share to grow between 15% and 17% in 2022, excluding foreign currency effects, having previously guided for 11% to 13% EPS growth for the full year.

The company, which recorded impairments of $993 million from its Russia exit, said all its Russian earnings were excluded prospectively as of July 1.

Linde in June ended its participation in Russia's Amur gas and chemicals complex in accordance with its plan to suspend all business development activities in the region, ceasing supply to certain customers and divesting industrial assets.

The European Union accounts for 25% of Linde's sales, which is the same as U.S. competitor Air Products but lower than 39% of French peer Air Liquide.

Linde reported a 15% rise in quarterly adjusted EPS to $3.10, ahead of the $2.96 forecast from analysts polled by Refinitiv.

The group's total sales increased by 12% to $8.5 billion in the April-June period, above analysts' forecast of $8.3 billion.

Linde has consistently beaten analysts' quarterly estimates over the past two years, benefiting from a higher pricing environment and growing hydrogen investments as countries look to cut back on emissions.

(Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Additional reporting by Andrey Sychev; Editing by Milla Nissi and David Holmes)

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