By Adria Calatayud

Air Liquide reported a fall in sales for the first quarter that was worse than analysts expected due to a drop in energy prices that the company passed through to its customers and currency headwinds.

The French supplier of industrial gases said Wednesday that revenue for the first quarter was 6.65 billion euros ($7.12 billion), down 7.3% compared with the same period last year. Analysts expected Air Liquide's quarterly sales to come in at EUR6.73 billion, according to consensus estimates provided by Vara Research.

The company attributed the drop to a decline in energy prices as well as hit from foreign-exchange fluctuations. Changes in energy prices are contractually passed through to the company's large industrial customers, it said.

On a comparable basis, excluding currency, energy and changes in the group's footprint, the company's revenue was up 2.1%, it said.

Air Liquide said it remains confident in its ability to expand its operating margin and to deliver recurring net profit growth at constant exchange rates this year.

Write to Adria Calatayud at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-24-24 0149ET