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Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX), Danbury, CT, reported sales of $3 billion in the second quarter, 7 percent above the prior-year quarter. Strong volumes in Asia and South America were partially mitigated by lower volumes in Europe, while North American volumes were comparable to the prior year. Acquisitions contributed 3 percent growth in the quarter.
Profit increased 4 percent to $445 million.
Sales for the first half of 2013 were $5.9 billion, up 4 percent year over year. Profit fell 1 percent to $836 million.
"Our on-site business continued to be very strong with improving volumes to the energy, chemicals and metals industries across the Americas and Asia," said Steve Angel, president and CEO. "Merchant deliveries continued to grow modestly with stable demand from healthcare and food and beverage. However, packaged gas demand weakened slightly due to poor overall business confidence and lower private and public spending on construction and capital projects."
In North America, second-quarter sales were $1.6 billion up 11 percent from the prior-year quarter. The acquisitions of NuCO2 and packaged gas distributors contributed 6 percent growth. Operating profit of $381 million grew 5 percent from the prior year primarily due to acquisitions and higher price.
In Europe, second-quarter sales were $382 million, in-line with the prior-year quarter. Underlying sales, excluding currency translation, were steady with the prior-year quarter due to higher pricing offset by lower volumes. Operating profit of $69 million, increased 1 percent, compared to the prior-year quarter, due to lower costs, productivity savings and price, partially offset by lower volumes.
In South America, second-quarter sales were $536 million, 3 percent higher than the prior-year quarter. Underlying sales, excluding currency translation, grew 9 percent with the strongest growth in the metals, healthcare and chemical markets. Operating profit was $123 million, up 12 percent versus the prior-year period, due to improved volumes and price.
Sales in Asia were $379 million in the quarter, up 9 percent from the prior year, driven by higher on-site and merchant sales in China, Korea and India, including new plant start-ups. Sales growth came primarily from metals, chemical and manufacturing customers. Operating profit was $61 million.
Praxair Surface Technologies had second-quarter sales of $165 million, 2 percent below the prior-year quarter. Sales were steady, excluding negative currency impact, as higher pricing offset weaker volumes of industrial coatings. Operating profit of $31 million grew 15 percent from the prior-year period due to lower costs from previous restructuring actions, productivity savings and higher pricing.