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Praxair Sales Increase 11% in Third Quarter

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), Danbury, CT, reported sales for the third quarter were $2.54 billion, an increase of 11 percent over the previous-year quarter. Profit for the industrial gases company increased 19 percent to $377 million.

Sales increased due primarily to strong volume growth in all geographic regions. Volume growth in Asia and South America was robust, reflecting new plant start-ups and strong customer demand. By end market, sales growth was driven by chemicals, metals, electronics and manufacturing.

Year-to-date, sales were $7.49 billion, an increase of 14.4 percent over the same period a year ago. Profit increased 16.2 percent to $1.06 billion.

In North America, third-quarter sales were $1.28 billion, 10 percent above the prior-year period due primarily to 7 percent volume growth. Operating profit of $314 million was 19 percent above the prior-year quarter.

In Europe, third-quarter sales were $322 million, comparable to $323 million in the prior year. Excluding currency effects, sales grew 10 percent primarily from higher overall sales in Germany, Italy and Spain. Operating profit was $59 million in the quarter compared to $68 million a year ago.

In South America, third-quarter sales of $506 million were 16 percent above the prior-year quarter due primarily to 12 percent organic growth. Operating profit was $117 million.

Sales in Asia grew 24 percent from the prior-year quarter to $287 million. Excluding currency and cost pass-through effects, sales grew 15 percent, due primarily to volume growth. Operating profit was $38 million compared to $37 million in the prior-year quarter.

Praxair Surface Technologies had third-quarter sales of $141 million compared to $135 million in the 2009 quarter. Sales grew 8 percent excluding negative currency effects. Operating profit of $23 million in the quarter grew 28 percent from the prior-year period.

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