As a group with a global footprint, Linde operates in a dynamic environment in which new market opportunities are constantly emerging. To achieve sustainable profitable growth, the Group must be able to recognise such opportunities when they arise and exploit them effectively, while at the same time properly evaluating risks. In the course of strategic discussions between the Executive Board and those personnel responsible for the operating units, which take place on a regular basis, opportunities and potential investments are identified, evaluated, managed and controlled. The development of the strategy of The Linde Group is based to a large extent on the results of these meetings. In turn, this strategy and the corporate goals derived therefrom are also the starting point for Linde’s risk management process. See Risk management and Risk areas.
Fundamentally, Linde is seeking to achieve a good balance between opportunities and risks. Its overriding objective is to increase the value of the Group for all stakeholders by tapping into new market opportunities.
To the extent that it is probable that such opportunities will arise, their expected impact has already been recognised in the Group’s strategy and goals, in its outlook for 2016 and in its medium-term targets, as is explained in this report. The following section therefore focuses on potential future developments which might lead to a positive variance from the Group’s short-term outlook and medium-term targets.