RADNOR, PA - October 28, 2011 - Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced that beginning December 1, 2011, or as contracts permit, its operating units will increase prices on bulk and packaged industrial, medical, and specialty gases 8 - 10% on average, 10 - 20% on acetylene and fuel gases, and up to 10% for delivery and other service charges. Cylinder and bulk tank rental rates will increase 8% - 10% effective November 1, 2011, or as contracts permit. Effective immediately, or as contracts permit, a surcharge on helium will be in effect. The Company will also continue to pass along higher prices for welding hardgoods and safety products.
The actions are in response to rising raw material, energy, electricity, and labor and benefit costs, which in turn have raised the price of gases, welding hardgoods, and safety products sourced from suppliers. The increases have also raised operating costs at Airgas plants and distribution facilities, and increased the costs of cylinders, bulk tanks, plants and equipment. In addition, supply chain disruptions in certain products have resulted in higher distribution costs, and the regulatory landscape continues to change at a rapid pace, requiring extra steps to ensure compliance.
"As the economy recovers, costs continue to rise on many fronts," said Airgas Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland. "In order to more efficiently meet our customers' demands while fulfilling the safety and security requirements of our industry, we must continue to invest in our infrastructure and technologies."
About Airgas, Inc.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 14,000 employees work in over 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.
This press release may contain statements that are forward looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its rules, regulations, and releases. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: announced price increases for the Company's products and services beginning December 1, 2011, November 1, 2011 or as contracts permit; costs rising while capacity utilization is increasing in the wake of growing demand; and continuing to invest in our infrastructure in order to more efficiently meet our customers' demands while fulfilling the safety and security requirements of our industry. We intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbors created thereby. All forward-looking statements are based on current expectations regarding important risk factors and should not be regarded as a representation by us or any other person that the results expressed therein will be achieved. We assume no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements for any reason, except as required by law. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement include: the Company's inability to successfully implement the price increases, including our customers' acceptance of increased prices; an economic downturn; increased industry competition; adverse changes in customer buying patterns; increased energy costs or metal prices in amounts higher than anticipated; catastrophic weather events, significant political and economic uncertainties associated with current world events; and other factors described in the Company's reports, including Form 10-K for our fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, subsequent Forms 10-Q, and other documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206
Barry Strzelec (610) 902-6256