Demonstrating its robust business model, the industrial gas giant reported net profit of €2.4bn in 2020, a significant increase of +8.6% compared with 2019.
Net earnings per share at €5.16, were up significantly (+8.5%) compared to the prior year, in line with the increase in net profit.
“The Group was fully mobilised to serve its customers and patients in 2020, which was an out of the ordinary year, whilst being resolutely committed to the fight against Covid-19,” said, Benoît Potier, Air Liquide Chairman and CEO.
“I want to recognise the exceptional work accomplished by all the Air Liquide’s teams.”
“The group‘s performance was outstanding in this environment: sales resilience, significant margin improvement, net profit growth and investment decisions continued at a very high level.”
“This performance illustrates the solidity of our business model. It also perfectly positions the group for future growth and enables it to already benefit from the acceleration seen in healthcare, energy transition, and the increasing presence of technologies, in particular digital, in all sectors.”
Cash flow from operating activities before changes in net working capital totalled €4.9bn, representing an increase of +1.5% despite a slowdown in activity due to the public health crisis.
Gross industrial capital expenditure reached €2.6bn and was stable overall compared with 2019. This represented 12.8% of sales, reflecting strong project developments despite the pandemic.
Proceeds from sale of assets were exceptionally high in 2020 at €800m and included the disposal of the Schülke.
Net debt-to-equity ratio stood at 55.8%, a marked decrease compared with the end of 2019.