Feb 7 (Reuters) – Linde (LIN.N), , the world’s largest industrial gases company, forecast earnings growth for 2023 on Tuesday after better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, boosted by clean hydrogen projects as companies seek to cut emissions.
The group on Monday said it would invest $1.8 billion to supply clean hydrogen to OCI’s (OCI.AS) blue ammonia plant in the U.S. state of Texas, following 2022 deals with BASF (BASFn.DE), BP (BP.L) and Airbus (AIR.PA).
“We are well positioned to win more than our fair share of high-quality projects, primarily in clean-energy,” Chief Executive Sanjiv Lamba said in an earnings statement.
The U.S.-German company, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals, reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.16 per share, beating analysts’ $2.91 per share estimate in a Refinitiv poll.
Linde has consistently beaten earnings estimates over the past two years, benefiting from growing hydrogen investments.
Countries are looking to curb greenhouse gases and scale up renewables across polluting sectors to meet the European Union’s net-zero emissions goal by 2050, and more recently to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian sourced oil and gas.
The group forecast 9-12% growth in 2023 earnings per share excluding currency headwinds, also citing its balanced end-market portfolio, high network density and capital discipline.
Its total sales were up 1% at $7.9 billion in the final quarter of 2022 excluding currency headwinds, below the Refinitiv poll estimate of $8.39 billion.