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.
Linde’s healthcare activities cover Hospital Care and Homecare. The Hospital Care business is concerned with offering hospitals and healthcare institutions a complete medical gas solution – covering the full range of medical gases, medical gas related services, installations, devices and equipment. Homecare focuses both on the supply of medical gases and the provision of medical services to patients with chronic respiratory diseases in settings other than hospitals. Therapies offered by Linde include respiratory therapies such as oxygen therapy and sleep therapy.
Revenue generated by Linde’s homecare business increased significantly in the 2012 financial year as a result of the acquisitions described above to EUR 1.077 bn (2011: EUR 307 m).
A growing proportion of revenue relates to REMEO®, an integrated care path for patients requiring ventilation for long periods outside the acute care setting and at home. In the past year, Linde has continued to expand this service, especially in the major homecare market of Europe, with new centres being established for example in Germany and Italy.
During the reporting period, the Group also expanded its network of treatment centres for patients with sleep apnoea by opening two new care centres in Portugal.
Hospital Care revenue rose 3.8 percent to EUR 958 m (2011: EUR 923 m), reinforcing Linde’s position in major markets such as Asia/Pacific and the Americas. In Europe, the Group also scored some major successes in the 2012 financial year. LIVOPAN®/Entonox®, a gas mixture which is an inhaled analgesic, was launched successfully in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia. In Poland, the product has been established as an effective pain relief solution for women during childbirth.