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Building on a solid performance and a record investment dynamic in 2023, Air Liquide accelerates and doubles the margin ambition of its ADVANCE strategic plan

Commenting on 2023 results, François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer of the Air Liquide Group, stated:

“In 2023, Air Liquide achieved a solid performance, highlighting the resilience and quality of our business model as well as the mobilization and agility of our teams in a complex and changing macroeconomic and geopolitical environment. The Group’s performance was characterized by an increase in sales on a comparable basis, a further improvement in its operating margin excluding the energy impact and an accelerating investment momentum, particularly in decarbonization projects.

In particular, I am proud to highlight that we have practically reached, in two years, the margin ambition targeted for 2025 as part of our ADVANCE strategic plan. As a consequence, we announce today that we are doubling our initial ambition.

We also confirm our other ADVANCE financial objectives, sales growth on a comparable basis and Return on Capital Employed, as well as our investment decision ambition. In addition, on the extra-financial level, our many decarbonization initiatives give us confidence in our objective to combine growth in our business with a reduction in our CO2 emissions in absolute value from 2025.

Revenue reached 27.61 billion euros, an increase of +3.7% on a comparable basis in 2023. On a published basis, it stood at -7.8%, due to the drop in energy prices - for which variations are contractually passed through to Large Industries customers - as well as negative currency impacts. The Gas & Services business, which represented 95% of the Group’s revenue, was up +4.2% on a comparable basis. Within this activity, all regions saw growth, in particular the Americas and Europe, driven notably by Industrial Merchant and Healthcare.

In line with its ADVANCE strategic plan, Air Liquide continued to improve its operational performance. The Group generated record efficiencies of 466 million euros, up +23% despite an inflationary context unfavorable to savings on procurement, and continued the dynamic management of its business portfolio. Its ability to provide its customers with value-added offerings allows it to adjust its prices in Industrial Merchant. As a result, the operating margin increased further, by +80 basis points in 2023 excluding the energy impact, and therefore by +150 basis points over 2022-2023. Having practically reached our margin target halfway through ADVANCE which was at +160 basis points, we now aim for a +320 basis points increase, twice our initial ambition, over the duration of the plan.

Net profit (Group share) amounted to 3.08 billion euros, up +11.6% as published. Net profit recurring([1]) increased by +13.3% excluding the currency impact. Cash flow([2]) grew by +12.8% excluding the currency impact. The balance sheet is strong with a net debt to equity ratio of 36.8%. At 10.6% at end-December, recurring ROCE([3]) remained well above 10%, in line with the objectives of ADVANCE, despite the increase in our investments. Reflecting our confidence in the future, the dividend that will be submitted to the shareholders’ vote in April amounts to 3.20 euros per share, i.e. an increase of +8.5%. In addition, a free share attribution is scheduled for June 2024, on the basis of one share for every 10 shares held.

The investment dynamic of the Group is accelerating, supported in particular by our projects in the energy transition and electronics. The backlog is historically high at 4.4 billion euros. Investment decisions reached a record level of 4.3 billion euros in 2023.

In 2024, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver growth in Net profit recurring, at constant exchange rates([4])."




  • Air Liquide, Official Supporter in hydrogen of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games to contribute to reducing the event’s carbon emissions. The Group will supply hydrogen from renewable sources to power some of the vehicles in the official fleet of Paris 2024 and will contribute to the acceleration of the development of long-lasting infrastructures for hydrogen mobility (taxi fleets, refueling stations).
  • Early bond redemption, for a total of 382 million US dollars, at the end of a Tender Offer process for two series of US dollar bonds maturing in 2026 for the first and 2046 for the second.

Asset portfolio management

  • Divestiture of Air Liquide’s 19% stake in Hydrogenics Corporation to Cummins, which owns the remaining 81% of the company.
  • Signing of an agreement with Safran Aerosystems for the sale of Air Liquide’s oxygen and nitrogen aeronautical technology businesses, excluding marine-related cryogenic businesses.
  • Realization of the Trinidad and Tobago business divestiture to Massy Gas Products Holding Ltd.


  • Business transformation project for Home Healthcare in France to align it with the needs and expectations of patients and healthcare professionals and adapt its business model to meet the challenges of the country's health system.


  • Announcement of an investment of close to 200 million US dollars in two new advanced material production centers in Taiwan and South Korea.

Sustainable development

  • Announcement by Air Liquide and Sasol of new long-term contracts (PPA) for supplying renewable energy to the Sasol site in Secunda, South Africa. In 2022 and 2023, the two groups announced 580 MW in capacity.
  • Signature by Air Liquide of its first long-term renewable electricity supply contract (PPA) in China, which gives the Group access to an installed capacity of 200 MW.
  • Signature with the energy company Vattenfall of a long-term renewable electricity purchase agreement (PPA) in the Benelux for an installed offshore wind capacity of approximately 115 MW.
  • Inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index, an index established by S&P Global that assesses the progress of companies in terms of sustainable development.


  • Announcement of an investment of more than 400 million euros for the construction of the Air Liquide Normand'Hy electrolyzer. In the framework of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) approved by the European Commission, the project received the support of the French State for an amount of 190 million euros, as part of the “Plan de Relance”.
  • Inauguration of the Air Liquide and Siemens Energy electrolyzer gigafactory, which paves the way for the production of renewable hydrogen on an industrial scale at a competitive cost. This plant will count the Air Liquide Normand'Hy project among its first customers.
  • Air Liquide is a member of a record number of six of the seven renewable and low-carbon Hydrogen Hubs selected in October for financial support by the U.S. government.
  • Creation with Groupe ADP of "Hydrogen Airport", the first engineering and consulting joint venture specialized in accompanying airports in their projects to integrate hydrogen in their infrastructure.
  • Launch of TEAL Mobility, a 50/50 joint venture with TotalEnergies, to develop a network of more than 100 hydrogen distribution stations for trucks on major European highways.
  • Signature with the Japanese energy giant ENEOS Corporation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the development of low-carbon hydrogen and the energy transition in Japan.
  • Selection of Air Liquide’s autothermal reforming (ATR) technology for a project owned and operated by INPEX CORPORATION, for the large-scale production of hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia, a first in Japan.
  • Development with KBR of a low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen production solutions offering based on Air Liquide’s Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology. In addition, a project for an innovative industrial-scale ammonia cracking pilot plant in the port of Antwerp, Belgium.

Decarbonizing industry

  • Announcement of the construction of a large-scale CryocapTM CO2 capture unit, which will be installed at the Air Liquide hydrogen production plant located in the port of Rotterdam. This unit will be connected to Porthos, one of the largest carbon capture and storage infrastructures in Europe which aims at reducing emissions from this major industrial area.
  • Investment of 140 million euros to build and operate an Air Separation Unit (ASU) in Quebec, Canada, to support the growth of the electric vehicle battery sector. This ASU will be powered by renewable electricity.
  • Investment of around 60 million euros to transform two Air Separation Units (ASU) operated by Air Liquide in the Tianjin industrial area, China, as part of the renewal of a long-term contract with YLC, a subsidiary of the Bohua group. The electrification of these two ASUs will enable CO2 emissions to be reduced by 370,000 metric tonnes each year.
  • Signature with Holcim of a memorandum of understanding concerning a decarbonization project for the new Holcim cement plant under development in Belgium. Using Air Liquide's innovative and proprietary CryocapTM technology, this project would enable Holcim to reduce this cement plant's CO2 emissions by 1.1 million metric tonnes per year.
  • Decarbonization and reduction of energy consumption: implementation of an innovative solution to support the conversion of the Verallia plant in Pescia, Italy to optimized oxycombustion on the occasion of the construction of a new glass furnace on the site.
  • Record number of signatures for 62 new small gas production units directly installed on customers' sites in the industrial merchant and electronics sectors in 2023.

Financial performance

Group revenue for 2023 totaled 27,608 million euros, posting comparable growth of +3.7% over 2022. The Group’s revenue as published was down -7.8%, impacted by unfavorable energy (-7.6%) and currency (-4.2%) impacts, the significant perimeter impact being slightly positive at +0.3%.

Gas & Services revenue totaled 26,360 million euros in 2023, an increase on a comparable basis of +4.2%. Revenue as published in the Gas & Services business was down -7.7%, penalized by negative energy (-8.0%) and currency (-4.2%) impacts, while the significant scope effect was slightly positive at +0.3%.

The two growth([5]) drivers for 2023 were the Industrial Merchant business, with sales up +8.5%, benefiting from a price impact that remained high (+8.4%) and resilient volumes, and the Healthcare business (+8.4%), bolstered by the dynamic development of Home Healthcare and the increase in the prices of medical gases in an inflationary environment. Revenue from Large Industries was down -1.8% over the year, demand stabilized at a relatively low level. Sales in Electronics increased by +2.4% in 2023, following growth of +16% in 2022, the sharp drop in demand from memory manufacturers having impacted sales from the 2nd quarter.

  • Gas & Services revenue in the Americas totaled 10,169 million euros in 2023, up by +5.1%. Large Industries sales (-2.2%) were impacted by customer turnarounds and relatively low demand. The Industrial Merchant business posted strong growth of +6.7%, boosted by a high price impact (+6.3%) and slightly positive volumes. In Healthcare, the rise in prices in proximity care in the United States and the dynamism of the business in South America contributed to the strong increase in sales (+14.2%). Electronics revenue was down by -2.8% in a context of slowing demand from memory manufacturers impacting sales of materials.
  • Gas & Services revenue in Europe was up +4.2% in 2023 and totaled 9,734 million euros. Large Industries sales were slightly down (-0.9%) in a context of weak demand from customers in the Chemicals and Steel industries. Revenue from the Industrial Merchant business rose sharply, by +12.3%, driven by a price impact of +14.0% and resilient volumes excluding helium and liquefied CO2. Healthcare sales increased by +5.8%, benefiting from the dynamism of Home Healthcare and the increase in medical gas prices in an inflationary context.
  • Gas & Services revenue for the Asia Pacific region in 2023 rose by +1.8%, to total 5,410 million euros. The Large Industries business (-5.5%) was impacted by weak demand and customer turnarounds. Sales in the Industrial Merchant business were up sharply, by +9.9%, driven by a high price impact at +7.3% and by an increase in volumes, in China in particular. Growth in Electronics was +2.2% over the year: very dynamic in 1st quarter, it was then impacted by lower demand from memory manufacturers and a very high basis of comparison in 2022.
  • Gas & Services revenue in the Middle East & Africa region increased by +7.0% to 1,047 million euros in 2023. All business lines grew.

Global Markets & Technologies revenue for 2023 was down by -1.0% compared to 2022, at 858 million euros. Organic growth reached +9.7%, excluding the divestitures carried out at the end of 2022. Order intake for Group projects and third-party customers amounted to 926 million euros, up +5.8% compared to 2022.

Consolidated revenue from Engineering & Construction totaled 390 million euros in 2023, down by -15.6%. Consolidated revenue excludes activities carried out as part of internal projects for Large Industries and Electronics, which are growing. Order intake amounted to 1,511 million euros for Group projects and third-party customers and hence exceeded 1 billion euros for the third consecutive year.

The Group's operating income recurring (OIR) reached 5,068 million euros in 2023, an increase of +4.2% as published. It increased by +11.4% on a comparable basis, which is significantly higher than the comparable sales growth of +3.7%, highlighting a strong leverage effect. This performance reflects the progress of the action plan deployed around 3 levers: efficiencies, pricing management in particular in Industrial Merchant and a dynamic asset portfolio management. Hence, the efficiencies([6]) amounted to 466 million euros in 2023, a sharp increase of +23.2% compared with 2022 and significantly above the annual target of 400 million euros.

Excluding the energy impact, the operating margin improved very significantly by +80 basis points. Thus, the sum of improvements in the operating margin excluding energy impact in 2022 and 2023 reached +150 basis points and compares to the +160 basis points expected over the 4-year period of the ADVANCE plan. Consequently, the ambition for improvement in the margin excluding the energy impact of the ADVANCE strategic plan is raised to +320 basis points over 4 years, which reflects an acceleration. This corresponds to twice the improvement initially planned. Hence, +170 basis points of improvement are expected for the remaining 2 years of the ADVANCE plan.

Net profit (Group share) reached 3,078 million euros in 2023, showing strong growth of +11.6% as published and an increase of +21.0% excluding the currency impact. It exceeded 3 billion euros for the first time. Net profit recurring (Group share)([7]) amounted to 3,320 million euros, up by +5.0%, and +13.3% excluding currency impact.

Net earnings per share, stood at 5.90 euros and were up +11.7% as published compared with 2022, in line with the increase in net profit (Group share).

Net cash flow from operating activities after changes in working capital requirement amounted to 6,263 million euros, a strong increase of +7.8% compared with 2022 and +12.8% excluding the currency impact.

Net debt at December 31, 2023, amounted to 9,221 million euros, a decrease of 1,040 million euros compared with December 31, 2022. Indeed, cash flows from operating activities allowed to reduce the net debt after the payment of over 3.4 billion euros in industrial investments and 1.6 billion euros in dividends.

The return on capital employed after tax (ROCE) was 9.8% in 2023. The recurring ROCE(7) stood at 10.6 %, an improvement compared to 10.3% in 2022 and aligned with the ADVANCE strategic plan's double-digit objective.

Industrial and financial investment decisions reached a high level of 4.3 billion euros in 2023, up sharply from 4.0 billion euros in 2022. The investment backlog hit a record high of 4.4 billion euros in 2023, a sharp increase from 3.5 billion euros in 2022.

At the General Meeting on April 30, 2024, the payment of a dividend of 3.20 euros per share will be proposed to shareholders for the 2023 fiscal year, representing an increase of +8.5% compared with the previous year. The ex-dividend date has been set for May 20, 2024, and the payment is scheduled for May 22, 2024. Moreover, a free share attribution, on the basis of one free share for every 10 shares held, as well as the application of a loyalty bonus, are planned for June 2024.

Extra-financial performance

The Group's scopes 1 and 2 CO2 emissions in 2023 totaled 37.6 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent([8]). They were down -4.7% compared with 2022 and -4.9% compared with the 2020 baseline.

The Group announced in 2023 the signature of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs), for more than 1.5 TWh per year aiming to reduce its annual emissions of CO2 by around -1.2 million tonnes. Moreover the Group pursues carbon capture and energy efficiency project development.

With these achievements, Air Liquide is confident to accomplish its ADVANCE near term goal of CO2 emissions inflection in 2025.

On the social aspect, safety is a priority. The lost-time accident frequency rate([9]) stood at 1.0 in 2023. The share of employees benefitting from a common basis of care coverage reached 78%, showing a sharp increase compared to 34% in 2021, in line with the objective of 100% by 2025.

Finally, the Access Oxygen program pursues its development. Over 2 million people have been facilitated with access to medical oxygen in low and moderate income countries, a +16% increase compared to 2022.


On the recommendation of the Appointments and Governance Committee, the Board of Directors also approved the draft resolutions which will be submitted to the General Meeting of April 30, 2024 in order to renew for a period of four years, the term of office of two Directors:

Ms Kim Ann Mink, an American national, who has been a Director on the Board of Directors since May 2020 and a member of the Remuneration Committee since September 2021. Having spent most of her career in major international groups in the chemicals industry, where she held various management positions, Ms Kim Ann Mink brings her experience in the fields of research and innovation and her managerial skills to the Board of Directors, in addition to her scientific expertise.

Ms Monica de Virgiliis, a French-Italian national, who has been a Director on the Board of Directors since February 15, 2023, following her provisional appointment by the Board of Directors (ratified by the General Meeting of May 3, 2023), replacing Ms Anette Bronder for the remainder of her term of office, i.e. until the end of the General Meeting of April 30, 2024. She has also been a member of the Environment and Society Committee since May 2023. Ms Monica de Virgiliis brings to the Board of Directors her experience of more than 15 years in the Electronics business, her skills in the field of technology and energy, her managerial skills and her commitment to energy transition.

The Board of Directors has qualified Ms. Kim Ann Mink and Ms. Monica de Virgiliis as independent Directors.

During its plenary meeting of November 9, 2023, the European Works Council renewed the term of office as Director representing the employees of Ms Fatima Tighlaline, (which expires at the end of the General Meeting of April, 30, 2024) for a period of four years expiring at the end of the 2028 General Meeting, which will approve the financial statements for the 2027 fiscal year.

At the end of the General Meeting, subject to approval by the Meeting of all the resolutions proposed, the Board of Directors composition would therefore remain unchanged at 14 members: 12 members appointed by the General Meeting, most of whom are independent (i.e. 83% independent Directors), including 5 women (i.e. 42%), 5 foreign nationals (i.e. 42%) and 2 Directors representing the employees.

Finally, the Board of Directors will submit to the vote of the General Meeting the elements of remuneration of Mr François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer, and of Mr Benoît Potier, Chairman of the Board of Directors, together with the information relating to the remuneration of all the corporate officers for 2023. The General Meeting will also be invited to decide upon the remuneration policy for the corporate officers which will apply to Mr. François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer, to Mr Benoît Potier, Chairman of the Board of Directors and to the Directors.

Air Liquide’s Board of Directors, which met on February 19, 2024, approved the audited financial statements for the 2023 fiscal year. The Statutory Auditors are in the process of issuing a report with an unqualified opinion.


^ Net profit recurring excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.

^ Operating cash flow after change in working capital requirement.

^ Based on Net profit recurring.

^ Operating margin excluding energy passthrough impact. Net profit recurring excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.

^ Unless otherwise stated, all variations in revenue outlined below are on a comparable basis, excluding currency, energy (natural gas and electricity) and significant scope impacts.

^ See definition in appendix.

^ See definition and reconciliation in appendix.

^ In metric tonnes of scopes 1 and 2 CO2-equivalent, “market based”, restated to take into account over a full year from 2020 and each subsequent year, the emissions of

^ Lost-time frequency rate for Group employees and temporary workers. Number of accidents with at least one day's absence from work per million hours worked.

  • Building on a solid performance and a record investment dynamic in 2023, Air Liquide accelerates and doubles the margin ambition of its ADVANCE strategic plan

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