Linde Says Net Income More Than Tripled in 2006

Linde, the world's largest maker of industrial gases, said Friday that 2006 net income more than tripled after restructuring the business.

Net income rose to 1.8 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in fiscal 2006 from 515 million in the previous year, the company said in a statement. Sales gained 31% to 30.8 billion euros ($40.7 billion).

"We were able to meet all of our business objectives and tackle the difficult challenges of Linde's extensive corporate restructuring at the same time," Chief Executive Wolfgang Reitzle.

Shares in Linde, which will post more detailed earnings March 12, rose 0.4% to 76.1 euros ($100.58) in Frankfurt.

French rival L'Air Liquide said Tuesday that annual net profit rose 7.4% to 1 billion euros ($1.31 billion) from 933 million euros reported in 2005, mainly on cost-cutting measures. The world's second-largest supplier of oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen by revenue also raised its growth and profit target for the next five years, predicting growth opportunities in the energy, environment and health care sectors.