Company Profile

Airgas Company Profile

Industry Leader
Airgas, Inc. is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, specialty and medical gases, process chemicals, welding, safety and related products. It is also the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, and the largest producer of liquid CO2 in the Southeast.

Solid Financial Performance
Airgas (NYSE: ARG) issued its initial public stock offering in December 1986 and completed a secondary offering in September 1987. The company has a market capitalization of more than $1.7 billion. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2004, Airgas had sales approaching $2 billion. Over the long term, the stock`s annual compound return has surpassed the S&P 500.

Strong National Presence
Through more than 300 acquisitions, Airgas has created the largest footprint in the U.S. for distributing gases, welding supplies, safety and related products. Most of its 10,000 employees work in 13 regional companies, which give Airgas its national scale and strong local presence to serve a diversified customer base. The company`s integrated network of about 900 locations nationwide includes branches and retail stores, cylinder fill plants, production facilities, specialty gas laboratories, and five regional distribution centers that ship hardgoods and safety products to Airgas branches and end-customers.

Extensive Sales Network
This common infrastructure supports the distribution of products and services through multiple sales channels, including more than 600 branches and retail stores, an outside sales force of more than 1,000 sales people, a Strategic Accounts Team focused on customers with multiple locations, distributors and resellers, as well as eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. This broad array of sales channels and expertise gives the company a distinct advantage in serving the needs of its customers.

Principal Products
Airgas` principal product is packaged gas. With nearly 6 million cylinders in its fleet, Airgas can deliver a wide range of gases - such as nitrogen, oxygen, argon, helium, hydrogen, acetylene, and shielding gases - to a small repair shop that rents a few cylinders a month or a petrochemical plant that needs dozens of cylinders a week. For customers that need higher quantities, Airgas also delivers liquid dewars, MicroBulk or bulk quantities. In addition to gases, Airgas distributes related welding equipment, supplies and safety products, from leading brands as well as its own Radnor. private-label welding and safety products.

Family of Companies
In addition to its regional companies, the Airgas family of companies also includes Airgas Safety, a leading distributor of personal safety products; Red-D-Arc Welderentals, the leading welder rental company in North America; Airgas Rutland Tool, a machine tool distributor; Airgas Carbonic and Airgas Dry Ice, which market liquid and frozen carbon dioxide; and Airgas Nitrous Oxide.

Its Airgas Specialty Gas infrastructure includes eight national and nearly 50 regional specialty gas facilities, including more than two dozen facilities that have been certified to the ISO 9001:2000 standard for quality management systems. Airgas is a leading distributor of medical gases and related products through Airgas Puritan Medical divisions in every region. As of December 31, 2003, its consolidated financial results also include the previously unconsolidated joint venture, National Welders Supply Company, Inc. The joint venture formed in 1996 between Airgas and the Turner family of Charlotte, NC, operates in the Carolinas and southern Virginia.

Vision, Mission, Values
Airgas` vision, the ideal it upholds as an organization, is to be "a company that consistently exceeds customer expectations." The mission, or purpose of the organization, is to be "an integrated multi-channel distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding, safety and related MRO products." The core values critical to the organizations success are encapsulated in the acronym "STAIR": stretch, teamwork, accountability, integrity and respect.

Commitment to Safety
Airgas has a strong commitment to serving its customers safely in the workplace and on the highways. More than 2,500 drivers have collectively achieved among the best preventable accident frequency rates in the industry. Regional safety directors help regional management with local programs and monitor progress. A national SAFECOR team sets standards and provides resources for safety and compliance.

Core Business Focus
Over the past several years, Airgas has built a substantial national presence and infrastructure to efficiently serve large customers with multiple locations. Airgas has also renewed its focus on the small- to medium-sized industrial customers who are its core customers for gases, welding products and safety products at every branch. It also has further strengthened its fast-growing medical business by forming Airgas Puritan Medical divisions in each regional company to combine the dedicated focus and heritage of the Puritan Medical business acquired in 2000 with the strength and reach of its regional companies.

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