November 14, 2018 / 6:58 PM / in 5 months

Linde AG expects revenue and earnings to be at top end of forecast

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial gases group Linde AG LING.DE on Wednesday said it expected to deliver solid earnings and revenues this year, as it prepares to close a merger deal with its United States-based rival Praxair.

Group operating profit rose by 4.2 percent to 3.3 billion euros in the first nine months of 2017, in part due to an efficiency plan and good macroeconomic conditions, the company said.

“On the basis of current developments, Linde expects that revenue and earnings for the group and for the gases division will be at the top end of their projected ranges,” the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Linde also said it expected its group operating profit after adjusting for exchange rate effects to lie within a range from its prior-year figure to 5 percent higher in 2018 and for revenue to be similar to 2017 levels or up to 4 percent higher.

In the 2018 financial year, Linde is seeking to achieve a return on capital employed of around 10 percent, the company said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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