Commenting on the results, Air Products' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi said, "Despite significant geopolitical and economic headwinds, the team at Air Products performed well, increasing our adjusted EPS by seven percent over last year. Our reported results were lower than our expectations, mainly due to a slowdown in manufacturing in Asia, particularly in China; lower helium demand; cost headwinds from a sale of equipment project; and currency devaluation in Argentina. We are moving forward to successfully implement our ambitious, long-term growth strategy through our core industrial gases business and as a leader in low-carbon intensity hydrogen to generate a cleaner future for the world.”
Fiscal 2024 First Quarter Results by Business Segment
- Americas sales of $1.3 billion were down 10 percent versus the prior year, as three percent higher volumes driven by strong hydrogen demand and two percent higher pricing were more than offset by 15 percent lower energy cost pass-through. Operating income of $354 million increased three percent and adjusted EBITDA of $561 million increased nine percent, in each case primarily due to higher pricing and volumes, partially offset by higher costs. Adjusted EBITDA also benefited from higher equity affiliates’ income. Operating margin of 28.3 percent increased 350 basis points and adjusted EBITDA margin of 44.8 percent increased 760 basis points. The operating margin and adjusted EBITDA margin improvements included positive impacts from lower energy cost pass-through of approximately 400 basis points and 600 basis points, respectively.
- Asia sales of $794 million increased two percent over the prior year, as two percent higher energy cost pass-through and one percent higher pricing were partially offset by one percent unfavorable currency. Volumes were flat, as higher on-site volumes were offset by weak economic growth in China and lower activity in helium. Operating income of $211 million decreased 10 percent and adjusted EBITDA of $327 million decreased five percent, in each case primarily due to unfavorable volume mix and higher costs. Operating margin of 26.6 percent decreased 370 basis points and adjusted EBITDA margin of 41.2 percent decreased 320 basis points.
- Europe sales of $731 million decreased eight percent from the prior year, as nine percent favorable volumes driven by our on-site business and five percent favorable currency were more than offset by 20 percent lower energy cost pass-through and two percent lower pricing. Operating income of $198 million increased 36 percent and adjusted EBITDA of $267 million increased 28 percent, as higher volumes, lower power costs, and favorable currency more than offset inflation and higher maintenance costs. Operating margin of 27.0 percent increased 860 basis points and adjusted EBITDA margin of 36.4 percent increased 1,020 basis points. The operating margin and adjusted EBITDA margin improvements included positive impacts from lower energy cost pass-through of approximately 350 basis points and 550 basis points, respectively.
- Middle East and India equity affiliates income of $93 million increased 45 percent compared to the prior year, primarily due to the completion of the second phase of the Jazan project in January 2023.
- Corporate and other sales of $185 million increased three percent compared to the prior year and reflected higher LNG sale of equipment activity.
Air Products now expects full-year fiscal 2024 adjusted EPS guidance* of $12.20 to $12.50, up six to nine percent over prior year adjusted EPS. For the second quarter of fiscal 2024, Air Products' adjusted EPS guidance* is $2.60 to $2.75.
Air Products continues to expect capital expenditures* of $5.0 billion to $5.5 billion for full-year fiscal 2024.
|*Management is unable to reconcile, without unreasonable effort, the Company’s forecasted range of adjusted EPS or capital expenditures to a comparable GAAP range. Air Products provides adjusted EPS guidance on a continuing operations basis, excluding the impact of certain items that management believes are not representative of the Company's underlying business performance, such as the incurrence of costs for cost reduction actions and impairment charges, or the recognition of gains or losses on certain disclosed items. It is not possible, without unreasonable efforts, to predict the timing or occurrence of these events or the potential for other transactions that may impact future GAAP EPS. Similarly, it is not possible, without unreasonable efforts, to reconcile forecasted capital expenditures to future cash used for investing activities because management is not able to identify the timing or occurrence of future investment activity, which is driven by management's assessment of competing opportunities at the time the Company enters into transactions. Furthermore, it is not possible to identify the potential significance of these events in advance, but any of these events, if they were to occur, could have a significant effect on the Company's future GAAP results.
Access the fiscal 2024 first quarter earnings teleconference scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on February 5, 2024 by calling 323-994-2093 and entering passcode 1702171 or by accessing the Event Details page on Air Products’ Investor Relations website.