The forecast of global economic trends and the outlook for the industry sector have not changed significantly since the disclosures made in the 2015 Financial Report (see section Outlook). The forecasting institute Oxford Economics continues to expect the global economy to grow at a similarly modest rate in 2016 to that seen in 2015.
Linde confirms its outlook for the current year. In the 2016 financial year, the expected range for Group revenue is between 3 percent below and 4 percent above the revenue generated in 2015, after adjusting for exchange rate effects. As far as Group operating profit in the 2016 financial year is concerned, the expected range is also between 3 percent below and 4 percent above the figure achieved in 2015, after adjusting for exchange rate effects.
In the 2016 financial year, Linde will continue to seek to achieve a return on capital employed (ROCE) of around 9 percent.
Outlook – Gases Division
Contingent on the circumstances described in the 2015 Financial Report and on future economic trends (see section Outlook), Linde is seeking to achieve the following targets in the Gases Division in the 2016 financial year. It is aiming to generate revenue after adjusting for exchange rate effects which is at least equal to and may be up to 5 percent higher than the revenue generated in the 2015 financial year. The expected range for operating profit after adjusting for exchange rate effects is between 1 percent below and 6 percent above the operating profit achieved in 2015.
In 2016, the margins achieved in the individual segments (EMEA, Asia/Pacific and Americas) should approximately equate to those achieved in 2015.
Outlook – Engineering Division
Linde continues to assume that it will generate revenue in the Engineering Division in the 2016 financial year of between EUR 2.0 bn and EUR 2.4 bn. It is seeking to achieve an operating margin here of around 8 percent.