In comparison with the other product areas, the fastest rate of growth was to be seen, as expected, in the Healthcare business. Revenue here, after adjusting for exchange rate effects, rose by 65.4 percent to EUR 2.035 bn (2011: 1.230 bn). The main reason for the increase was the acquisition by Linde of US homecare company Lincare, a transaction which was completed in August 2012. The newly acquired business contributed EUR 630 m to the total revenue of the Healthcare product area in the 2012 financial year. Without this contribution, the growth in the Healthcare business would have been 14.2 percent. Linde is the industry leader in the US, the region with by far the largest homecare market in the world. With 11,000 employees, the company serves about 800,000 patients and generated revenue of around EUR 1.5 bn in the 2011 financial year.
The purchase of Lincare was Linde’s second strategic acquisition during the 2012 financial year in the promising healthcare sector, which encompasses the medical gases and medical device business, as well as related maintenance and advisory services. Back in April, the Group completed its acquisition of Air Products’ Continental European homecare operations, gaining 850 employees, 260,000 new patients and annual revenue of over EUR 200 m.
With Lincare and the business units it has acquired from Air Products, Linde is now the only gases company in the homecare business with a global footprint. These acquisitions have transformed The Linde Group into the leading global healthcare provider in the gases industry.
Health, the global megatrend, remains intact. This promising market is boosted by underlying demographic trends and ever better diagnostic and therapy options. Moreover, access to medical care is improving all the time for patients in the emerging economies.
Healthcare continues to be a global megatrend. This fast-growing market is driven by demographic shifts, improved diagnostic and therapy options – particularly from chronic ailments – and better access to these new forms of care.
We are fully committed to delivering a high level of service to our customers. We are proud to offer as part of our hospital care business, a total gas package which includes liquid medical oxygen, compressed gases, engineering and other related services as part of our total gas management solution.