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THE BOC GROUP REPORTS EARNINGS

 THE BOC GROUP REPORTS EARNINGS
 MURRAY HILL, N.J., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The BOC Group today


announced that pre-tax profit for the three months to Dec. 31, 1991, at $149.8 million, increased by 13 percent compared with the same period in the previous year. The increase is 9 percent after removing the favorable effect of currency movements. Earnings per share at 19.64 cents were up 15 percent from the previous year.
 The group has seen no improvement in any of the key economies in which it operates and the Far East is now experiencing a downturn in economic growth. In these trading conditions, the group's businesses continued to perform well.
 In Gases, overall volumes in the merchant liquid market leveled off and the previously buoyant North Pacific is beginning to feel some downturn in economic growth. However, Gases prices and margins continue to be stable.
 In Health Care, the group's pharmaceuticals business performed very well. The medical equipment businesses experienced difficult trading conditions and profits were down. The Home Health Care business in the United States, which was slimmed down at the end of last year, was profitable in the quarter. The growing Distribution Services business performed well. The Vacuum Technology businesses were hit hard by the worldwide recession.
 THE BOC GROUP (Unaudited)
 (In millions of dollars)
 Three months ended Dec. 31 1991 1990
 Turnover, including share
 of related companies 1,330.3 1,215.3
 Less: share of related
 companies 58.7 56.1
 Turnover, excluding related
 companies 1,271.6 1,159.2
 Operating profit(A) 185.1 166.1
 Interest (35.3) (33.7)
 Profit on ordinary activities
 before tax 149.8 132.4
 Tax(B) (49.6) (45.6)
 Profit on ordinary activities
 after tax 100.2 86.8
 Minority interests (6.5) (6.4)
 Earnings 93.7 80.4
 Earnings per share net basis,
 fully diluted(C) 19.64 cents 17.13 cents
 (A) -- Operating profit includes the share of profits of related companies of $10.3 million (1990: $8.2 million).
 (B) -- Overseas tax included in the tax charge amounted to $28.4 million (1990: $25.8 million) and related companies tax to $2.8 million (1990: $2.4 million).
 (C) -- The number of shares used in the earnings per share calculation was 480.8 million (1990: 478.2 million).
 (D) -- Comparative data has been restated for changes in accounting policies as indicated in the 1991 Report and Accounts. Financial data for the year to Sept. 30, 1991 has been based on the full group accounts for that period. The 1991 accounts received an unqualified auditors' report and have been delivered to the Registrar of Companies.
 (E) -- All amounts shown in U.S. dollars have been translated at the rate of $1 equals 0.53 pound sterling, which was the rate of exchange applicable on Dec. 31, 1991.
 Segmental Information
 Turnover and operating profit by business was as follows (in millions of dollars):
 1991 1990
 Operating Operating
 Turnover Profit Turnover Profit
 Gases and Related Products 951.1 137.2 868.8 126.6
 Health Care 256.9 43.6 237.1 34.2
 Vacuum & Distribution 122.3 4.9 107.2 7.1
 Corporate -- (0.2) -- (0.2)
 Continuing businesses 1,330.3 185.5 1,213.1 167.7
 Discontinued businesses -- (0.4) 2.2 (1.6)
 Total 1,330.3 185.1 1,215.3 166.1
 Turnover and profit before tax by region was as follows (in millions of dollars):
 1991 1990
 Pre-tax Pre-tax
 Turnover Profit Turnover Profit
 Europe 389.0 54.9 362.2 63.1
 Africa 112.4 21.9 106.8 20.0
 Americas 475.5 37.8 426.2 19.6
 Asia/Pacific 353.4 35.2 320.1 29.7
 Total 1,330.3 149.8 1,215.3 132.4
 Condensed Balance Sheet (Unaudited)
 (Millions of dollars)
 At 12/31/91 At 9/30/91
 Fixed assets:
 Tangible assets 3,423.2 3,515.8
 Related companies and other investments 261.1 269.8
 Working capital (excluding bank balances
 and short-term loans) 541.5 659.8
 Total 4,225.8 4,445.4
 Shareholders' capital and reserves 2,285.5 2,391.7
 Minority shareholders' interests 275.6 282.0
 Non-current liabilities and provisions 319.0 333.9
 Net borrowings and finance leases 1,345.7 1,437.8
 Total 4,225.8 4,445.4
 -0- 2/13/92
 /CONTACT: Patricia A. Secrist, 201-771-4860, or Nigel Rowe, 011-44-2-767-7222, both of BOC Group/ CO: The BOC Group ST: IN: SU: ERN


GK-SM -- NY012 -- 9590 02/13/92 09:28 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1992
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