(AIRGAS LOGO)
  News Release   Airgas, Inc.
259 N. Radnor-Chester Road
Suite 100
Radnor, PA 19087-5283
www.airgas.com
     
Investor Contact:
  Media Contact:
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206
  James Ely (610) 902-6010
jay.worley@airgas.com
  jim.ely@airgas.com
For release:       Immediately
     Airgas Reports Record 4th Quarter Income from Continuing Operations of $0.45 Per Share
RADNOR, PA — May 1, 2006 —
Airgas, Inc., (NYSE: ARG), the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related products, today reported strong growth in sales and earnings, for its fourth quarter ended March 31, 2006.
Quarterly income from continuing operations grew 51% to $36 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared to $24 million or $0.31 per diluted share, a year ago. Quarterly results a year ago included expenses of $0.02 per diluted share related to acquisition integration and employee separation costs. Current quarter net income grew 39% to $33 million, or $0.42 per share, including a non-cash, after-tax charge of $3 million, or $.03 per share, to reflect the adoption of an accounting change.
Fourth quarter sales increased 16% to $747 million reflecting strong same-store sales growth, as well as acquisitions. Total same-store sales were up 12% compared to the same quarter a year ago, with gas and rent up 10% and hardgoods up 13%. Sales results reflect broad demand from industrial, energy, and non-residential construction market segments.
“Our business momentum continues to be very strong. Our emphasis on profitable growth is showing results, as evidenced by a 180 basis point improvement in operating margins, to 9.9% in the fourth quarter,” said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Peter McCausland. “This quarter, we saw particularly strong performance from our Gas Operations units and from our Distribution companies along the Gulf Coast and in the Western half of the U.S.”
Sales in fiscal 2006 increased 20% to $2.8 billion. Earnings from continuing operations for the year ended March 31, 2006 were $1.62 per diluted share compared to prior year results of $1.19 per diluted share. Current year results from continuing operations include charges of $0.02 per diluted share from asset losses related to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Prior year results from continuing operations included expenses of

 


The following information was filed by Airgas Data Llc on Monday, May 1, 2006 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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