UPDATE 2-Linde cuts profit forecasts, blames faltering economy

jueves 30 de octubre de 2014 05:59 GYT

* Linde Q3, 2014 outlook hit by impairment charges

* Medium-term targets dropped on weaker economic outlook

* Shares fall more than 6 percent in early trading (Recasts, adds analyst notes)

By Edward Taylor and Ludwig Burger

FRANKFURT, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The new boss of German gases group Linde cut the company's full-year and medium-term profit targets on Thursday, blaming a faltering global economy and sending Linde's shares down sharply.

The industrial gases group cut its 2014 earnings outlook, saying it now expected its core profit to come in flat. It also dumped its medium-term profit targets and said it expected an operating profit of 4.5-4.7 billion euros and a reported return on capital employed (ROCE) of 11-12 percent in 2017.

Linde, which makes gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen used by the engineering and auto industries, had originally set itself a 2016 target of achieving a group operating profit of at least 5 billion euros and a reported ROCE of around 13 percent.

The company had anticipated it would achieve a moderate improvement in group operating profit in 2014. It still expects solid growth in revenue in 2014 after adjusting for exchange rate effects.

"We have to take account of the fact that economic growth has been much weaker than we all expected," Chief Executive Wolfgang Buechele said in a statement.   Continuación...