The demand for industrial oxygen and carbon dioxide dropped when most business activities were paused because of the novel coronavirus pandemic
Industrial and medical gas producer, Linde Bangladesh Ltd, has reported a two-percent decline in its industrial oxygen sales in the first quarter, January to March, of 2020.
The decrease in sales was explained by a lack of demand for industrial oxygen during the period because of the Covid-19 shutdown.
According to its un-audited financial statement, the company reported oxygen sales of Tk139.65 crore during the first quarter of 2020 – down from Tk142.54 crore in the same period of the previous year.
A company official, seeking anonymity, told The Business Standard that at the end of March, the demand for industrial oxygen and carbon dioxide dropped since most of the business activities were paused due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
However, both the demand and sales of medical oxygen increased during the period as many of the virus patients required oxygen to fight their breathing difficulties, he added.
Despite the decrease in the sales of oxygen during January to March 2020, the company's net profit rose by 11 percent from the first quarter of the previous year and stood at Tk30.98 crore.
The company reported an earnings per share of Tk20.36 during the first quarter of 2020 – which was Tk80.93 during the last financial year.
At the end of the first quarter, the net asset value per share of the company stood at Tk356.06. Net operating cash flow per share was Tk10.12 in the first quarter of 2020.
Earlier, the board of directors of Linde Bangladesh had recommended a 500 percent cash dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019. That was the company's largest dividend payment to its shareholders since 2014.
The annual general meeting of the company will be held on a virtual platform on June 16.
The paid-up capital of Linde Bangladesh is currently Tk15.21 crore.
Sponsors and directors together owned 60 percent shares of the company till February 2020. The institutional and general investors owned 29.20 percent and 10.80 percent shares respectively.
The latest closing price of Linde shares was Tk1,239 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange, whereas the company's shares hit their highest price, Tk1,390, within the last year.