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Praxair, Inc., Danbury, CT, reported sales for the second quarter 2009 were $2.13 billion, down 26% from the prior year same period. Profit declined 14.3% to $299 million.
For the first six months of 2009, sales were $4.26 billion, down 23.1% from the first half of 2008. Profit decreased 10.2% to $589 million.
"Challenging economic conditions persisted globally in the quarter, resulting in overall volumes on par with the first quarter," CEO Steve Angel said. "We have begun to see pockets of sequential improvement in Asia and South America, where economic activity appears to be reacting positively to fiscal and monetary stimulus programs. In Europe and North America, the overall industrial environment remains very weak, although volumes appear to have stabilized."
In North America, second-quarter sales were $1.12 billion, 29% below the second quarter of 2008. Higher refinery hydrogen volumes were offset by lower volumes to chemicals, metals, electronics and manufacturing markets. Operating profit of $264 million was only 4% below the prior-year quarter due to significantly lower fixed and variable costs.
In Europe, second-quarter sales were $306 million, 25% below the prior year. Negative currency translation effects reduced sales by 14%. Operating profit was $61 million in the quarter, compared to $99 million in the prior-year quarter.
In South America, second-quarter sales were $395 million, 23% below the prior-year period, primarily due to the negative impact of currency translation which reduced sales by 19%. Sales to food and beverage and healthcare markets were relatively stable; Sales to metals and manufacturing markets were weak compared to the prior year, but showed modest sequential improvement. Operating profit in the second quarter was $70 million as compared to $102 million in the prior-year period.
Sales in Asia were $199 million in the quarter, 14% below the 2008 quarter. Excluding negative currency translation effects, sales declined 5% on a year-over-year basis. Sales grew 11% from the first quarter, as business conditions improved in manufacturing, metals and electronics markets. Operating profit was $33 million, down 18% from the prior-year quarter but up 27% sequentially.
Praxair Surface Technologies had second-quarter sales of $118 million versus $153 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating profit was $19 million versus $27 million in the prior-year period.