BOC Group, the diversified UK company whose operations include producing gases for use in the food and beverage industry, has reported nine-month pre-tax profits of £265.2 million (€421.4m) after exceptional items of £50.5 million relating to restructuring charges. Revenues for the nine months were down 5 per cent at £2.97 billion.
BOC said that three of its four divisions had performed well during the period, with only the BOC Edwards business, which supplies gases for the semiconductor industry, failing to improve turnover and profits during the third quarter.
The process gas unit, which supplies gases for such food industry applications as freezing food or dispensing beer, was the main driver of growth during the period, helped by new plants coming into production and an increase in volume sales to existing customers.
Sales at the unit rose 3 per cent to £302.8 million during third quarter and by 2 per cent to £894.1 million during the nine months, both at constant currency levels. Operating profits for the quarter and the nine months were up 26 per cent to £50.2 million and 17 per cent to 137.2 million respectively, helped by significant cost-cutting measures.