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THE BOC GROUP REPORTS RESULTS FOR THE THREE MONTHS ENDED DEC. 31, 1992

 MURRAY HILL, N.J., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The BOC Group today issued the following:
 -- Operating profit was up 9 percent and operating profit less interest up 12 percent compared with the same period last year. Turnover increased by 9 percent.
 -- Exchange rate movements had a beneficial impact on the translation of our results into sterling. At constant rates, operating profit less interest would have increased by 6 percent.
 -- Health care profit increased sharply compared with a year ago but sluggish economic conditions continued to hold back progress in our industrial gases business in most parts of the world.
 The BOC Group operating profit for the three months to Dec. 31,1992 was $164.9 million, an increase of 9 percent over the same period last year. Operating profit less interest increased by 12 percent to $137.2 million and turnover increased 9 percent to $1,188.5 million. Earnings per share were 18.07 cents, up 11 percent.
 These results are broadly in line with the company's expectations of a reasonably strong first quarter, indicated at the time of the annual general meeting; but the company said that this quarterly comparison will not be indicative of trends during the remainder of the year.
 The sharp improvement in BOC's health care profits compared with a year ago is due to a combination of favorable factors, including dollar exchange rate movements, some benefit from the aggressive restructuring program, and a more regular sales pattern this year. The expiry of patent protection for the Forane anesthetic pharmaceutical will begin to affect this business as the year progresses.
 "Although we hope for some improvements in the economic background as the year progresses, there are few signs of better trading conditions at this stage," said Patrick Rich, chairman. "We are fairly optimistic about prospects in the U.S.A., but in some other parts of the world the conditions deteriorated further during the first quarter. However, the views I expressed at last month's AGM on the company's prospects for the year remained unchanged."
 BOC GROUP
 (Unaudited, $ in millions)
 Three months to Dec. 31: 1992 1991
 Turnover, including share of
 related undertakings $1,188.5 $1,088.4
 Less: share of related undertakings 66.2 48.0
 Turnover 1,122.3 1,040.4
 Operating profit 164.9 151.2
 Profit on disposal of fixed assets
 on continuing operations 1.7 0.3
 Profit on ordinary activities
 before interest(A) 166.6 151.5
 Interest (27.7) (28.9)
 Profit on ordinary activities before tax 138.9 122.6
 Tax(B) (47.3) (40.6)
 Profit on ordinary activities after tax 91.6 82.0
 Minority interests (6.1) (5.3)
 Profit for the financial year 85.5 76.7
 Earnings per share net basis,
 undiluted(C) - on published
 profit for the financial year 18.07 cents 16.25 cents
 NOTES
 A) Profit before interest includes the share of profits of
 related undertakings of $10.7 million (1991: $9.5 million)
 B) Overseas tax included in the tax charge amounted to $30.1
 million (1991: $23.3 million) and related undertakings tax to $2.8
 million (1991: $2.3 million)
 C) The number of shares used in the earnings per share
 calculation was 473.0 million (1991: 471.3 million)
 D) Financial data for the year to Sept. 30, 1992 has been based
 on the full group accounts for that period. The 1992 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=0.654 pounds sterling which was the rate of exchange
 applicable on Dec. 31, 1992.
 SEGMENTAL INFORMATION
 Turnover and Operating Profit by business was as follows (in
 millions):
 1992 1991
 Operating Operating
 Turnover Profit Turnover profit
 Gases and related
 products $ 834.3 $ 112.9 $ 771.1 $ 111.3
 Health care 232.6 49.7 182.8 35.0
 Vacuum and distribution 121.6 3.4 100.1 4.9
 Corporate --- (0.6) --- (0.3)
 Continuing operations 1,188.5 165.4 1,054.0 150.9
 Discontinued operations --- (0.5) 34.4 0.3
 Total 1,188.5 164.9 1,088.4 151.2
 Turnover and operating profit by region was as follows (in millions):
 1992 1991
 Operating Operating
 Turnover Profit Turnover Profit
 Europe $ 337.3 $ 37.9 $ 318.1 $ 45.5
 Africa 107.4 19.1 92.0 20.2
 Americas 420.1 66.9 354.7 48.3
 Asia/Pacific 323.7 41.5 289.2 36.9
 Continuing operations 1,188.5 165.4 1,054.0 150.9
 Discontinued operations --- (0.5) 34.4 0.3
 Total 1,188.5 164.9 1,088.4 151.2
 Condensed Balance Sheet, Unaudited
 (In millions)
 12/31/92 9/30/92
 Fixed assets:
 Tangible assets $ 3,263.8 $ 3,051.1
 Related undertakings and
 other investments 267.3 235.8
 Working capital (excluding
 bank balances and short-term loans) 465.4 489.4
 Total 3,996.5 3,776.3
 Shareholders' capital and reserves 2,188.1 2,124.3
 Minority shareholders' interests 256.6 241.7
 Non-current liabilities and provisions 335.8 310.5
 Net borrowings and finance leases 1,216.0 1,099.8
 Total 3,996.5 3,776.3
 -0- 2/11/93
 /CONTACT: Nigel Rowe or Chris Marsay, in the U.K.: 011-44-276-477-222, or Patricia Secrist, 908-771-4860, all of BOC Group/


CO: BOC Group ST: New Jersey IN: SU: ERN

LR-TB -- NY036 -- 5713 02/11/93 12:38 EST
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Date:Feb 11, 1993
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