Bad Soden, Germany,

Messer breaks billion euro barrier

The 2006 Annual Report of the Messer Group shows that it has been a successful year for the industrial gas specialist. Total sales for all the companies of the Messer family have exceeded one billion euros for the first time.

The Supervisory Board of Messer Group GmbH, based in Sulzbach near Frankfurt am Main, approved the annual report of the industrial gas specialist on 2nd May. The consolidated annual sales amounted to €630 million, which represents a growth of 9.5 per cent compared with the previous year. The EBITDA came to €144 million, an increase of 4.3 per cent compared with 2005. The number of employees increased from 4,005 to 4,247.

The Messer Eutectic Castolin Group – the Messer family’s cutting, welding and coating technology division – increased its sales to €437 million in 2006, an increase of almost 20 per cent on the previous year. Together, the two divisions, which are both wholly owned by the family holding company, have exceeded the magical one billion euro mark.

In total, the industrial gas producer Messer Group GmbH invested €152 million in its core markets in Europe and Asia in the 2006 financial year. In the Serbian town of Smederevo, Messer commissioned a production facility with a total investment of€44 million. The twin-column air separation plant supplies nitrogen and oxygen to, among others, the steel producer U.S.Steel. In 2006, Messer procured new gas cylinders worth €24 million. In the growth market that is China, €37 million was invested in new production facilities for industrial gases.

As has become traditional, the annual report of the Messer Group is once again dedicated to its employees. They have contributed photos and reports of their personal highlights of 2006 under the motto “Atmosphere of Success“.