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MUNICH, Germany, March 9 (Reuters) - German industrial gases group Linde said its planned merger with U.S. rival Praxair was on track, with the two parties still aiming to finalise an agreement on combining their businesses by the end of April or beginning of May.
Linde reported flat 2016 revenue of 16.9 billion euros ($17.8 billion) and 3 percent higher operating profit of 4.1 billion euros from continuing operations - within its forecast range - excluding logistics unit Gist, which it plans to sell.
The Munich-based group said on Thursday it aimed to increase 2017 revenue by 3 percent, although it could see a decrease of up to 3 percent due to a "challenging market environment". It aims for flat to 7 percent higher operating profit.
$1 = 0.9493 euros Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan