Trends in the Healthcare product area became increasingly positive as the year progressed. In 2014, Linde generated revenue here of EUR 3.059 bn. This was an increase of 3.6 percent when compared with the figure for 2013. It should be noted that business performance in this product area was adversely affected, especially in the first half of the year, by supply contracts being put out to tender. The growth in Linde’s Healthcare business in 2014 would have been 6.3 percent if this had not occurred.
The global growth area healthcare remains intact. This promising market is boosted by demographic trends, as a result of which the number of patients with chronic respiratory disease is rising. In addition, more and more people in the emerging economies are gaining better access to medical care.
As the world-leading healthcare provider in the gases industry, Linde specialises in the treatment of patients with chronic respiratory disorders. The Group embraces innovation. In the 2014 financial year, it therefore continued to work on optimising its range of mobile oxygen cylinders, with the LIV® IQ, where the mechanical pressure gauge integrated into the cylinder valve has been replaced for the first time by an LCD screen with a digital display and additional key functions. Such innovative products enable Linde to improve patient care and to support the safe everyday use of mobile gas cylinders. Once the test phase has been completed at the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, it is expected that the product will be launched onto the market in 2015. See Annual Innovative supply concepts.
During the financial year, Linde was also able to expand its business operations with its REMEO® programme, and opened new centres in Argentina, the UK and the US. REMEO® is an integrated care path for patients requiring ventilation support for long periods outside the acute care setting.
In the Hospital Care segment, which provides care and advice to hospitals and medical institutions, Linde achieved double-digit growth rates in the 2014 financial year with its QI Services portfolio. The service portfolio comprises risk assessment, training programmes, design and engineering for medical installations, piping systems and medical air compressors.