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UPDATE 1-Linde Plc ups profit guidance on merger benefits

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FRANKFURT, May 10 (Reuters) - Linde Plc, the industrial gases group created from the merger of Linde AG and Praxair, on Friday lifted its full-year outlook for earnings per share, citing efficiency gains from the merger.

In presentation slides posted on its website https://investors.linde.com/-/media/linde/investors/documents/events-and-present a t i o n s / l i n d e 1 q 1 9 t e l e c o n f e r e n c e s l i d e s . p d f ? l a = e n & r e v = 3 7 9 5 c 8 7 b 1 0 1 4 4 5 b b a a 7 8 8 7 8 7 2 2 3 3 3 5 e a , the U.S.-German group said it was targeting 9%-13% growth in 2019 earnings per share, up from a previous guidance range of 8%-12% percent, citing an improved capital structure and better synergies.

In a separate statement, it said first-quarter income from continuing operations, adjusted for one-off items such as merger-related charges, rose by 11% to $927 million.

Pro forma sales stagnated at $6.91 billion, but were up 5% when excluding unfavorable currency translation effects, the group said in a statement on Friday. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by Thomas Seythal and Michelle Martin)