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AIR PRODUCTS CHAIRMAN TELLS INVESTMENT COMMUNITY NICHE MARKETING STRATEGIES/FURTHER GLOBAL EXPANSION KEYS TO COMPANY'S CONTINUED GROWTH

 AIR PRODUCTS CHAIRMAN TELLS INVESTMENT COMMUNITY NICHE MARKETING STRATEGIES/FURTHER GLOBAL EXPANSION KEYS TO COMPANY'S CONTINUED GROWTH
 New Liquid Hydrogen Plant, Proprietary Adsorption Systems,
 Asian Chemical JV and Cogeneration Project Announced
 SHORT HILLS, N.J., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The continued pursuit of niche marketing strategies and further global expansion will enable Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE: APD) to continue to increase its revenues and profits into the next decade said Dexter F. Baker, the company's chairman and chief executive officer, in welcoming approximately 100 security analysts, portfolio managers and bankers to a one-day conference the company is hosting today in Short Hills.
 The session, which will feature presentations by Air Products' management team, is designed to provide an in-depth look at the company's current operations and future plans, including the announcement of several major new business developments. These include a 30 ton-per-day liquid hydrogen production plant the company's board of directors has approved for Air Products' Pace, Fla., complex; the development of two proprietary noncryogenic adsorption systems for cost- effectively producing high purity oxygen, and hydrogen and carbon monoxide; the formation of a 50/50 joint venture for the manufacture of emulsion polymers in the Republic of Korea between Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and Union High Polymer; and the signing of a power contract with Florida Power Corporation that is likely to result in Air Products building an $88 million cogeneration facility in Orlando, Florida. Other required agreements for this project are nearing completion.
 1986 Strategic Plan Contributes to
 Five Consecutive Years of Record Results
 In his remarks to the financial executives, Baker explained that in 1986, Air Products developed and began implementing a strategic plan to triple the size of Air Products by 1996. He noted that the plan -- which includes growing the company's gases and chemicals businesses, adding related new products and markets, expanding internationally and creating a new environmental and energy systems business -- is on track and paying off, pointing out that in the fiscal year just ended, Air Products posted higher sales and net income for the fifth consecutive year. He added that over the same timeframe, the company's earnings per share have grown at a compound annual rate of nearly 20 percent -- over twice as fast as the S&P Industrial Index -- and that shareholder value has doubled over the same period. Said Baker, "The company's portfolio is comprised of strong, inherently stable businesses that perform well when economic growth is robust, or even when the world's economies are slowing and on the verge of recession, as in 1991."
 Pursuing Niche Marketing Strategies
 Baker continued, "Today, Air Products enjoys a world of exciting business opportunities. More importantly, we have structured our participation by focusing on niches where we can build on our strengths and achieve sustainable competitive advantage." He said this focus on niches is evident in all of the company's businesses -- "in gases, where we are well positioned in the highest growth segments of the market; in chemicals, where we have become the market, cost and technology leaders in virtually every market we serve; and in our environmental and energy systems division where we can drawn upon our sophisticated operating skills and strong process technology capabilities."
 Global Expansion Fundamental to Company's Growth Plans
 In addition to continuing to identify and pursue attractive market niches, Baker emphasized that Air Products also intends to continue to expand globally, noting that the company and its affiliates currently have operations in 27 countries on four continents. Said Baker, "While it is a cliche to say the world has become smaller, in recent years, the world of Air Products has surely
grown much larger." He explained that the company has invested close to $900 million over the last five years in Europe where Air Products is now the most broadly positioned supplier of industrial gases; that in Asia, the company's gas business now extends to eight countries, which represent 95 percent of that region's economic activity; that Air Products' chemicals business is increasingly global, with approximately 23 percent of revenues generated outside the United States; and that the company's worldwide process equipment business had a record backlog of $300 million at the end of fiscal 1991. Baker said, "International sales and earnings are fundamental to our strategy, not merely icing on the cake."
 In concluding his remarks, Baker said, "Everywhere you look in Air Products you will find strong fundamentals that favor growth and invite additional investment. We enjoy leadership positions in our industrial gases and
chemicals businesses. We have a growing and profitable position in environmental and energy systems." He added, "The capital investments we have made in recent years have dramatically expanded our businesses so that we will be in a position to generate above- average returns for our shareholders through the rest of the 1990s."
 Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. is a major international supplier of industrial gases and related equipment, intermediate and specialty chemicals, and environmental and energy systems. The company, which is headquartered near Allentown, Pa., has 14,600 employees.
 /delval/
 -0- 12/10/91
 /CONTACT: Kevin Ramundo of Air Products and Chemicals, 215-481-4346/
 (APD) CO: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: CHM SU:


MP -- PH006 -- 0892 12/10/91 09:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1991
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