French industrial gases company Air Liquide plans to ramp up yearly industrial investments by 45% over the 2022-2025 period, it said on Tuesday, as it presented new mid-term targets.

The group, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals, said during its capital markets day it would invest a total of about 16 billion euros ($17.58 billion) to 2025, with half dedicated to the energy transition.

"From the moment we generate cash flow, its use is obviously in priority intended for growth, therefore investments in our business," Chief Executive Benoit Potier said in a call with journalists.

As one of the largest producers of hydrogen worldwide, Air Liquide expects to benefit from the acceleration of the transition to greener power, it said.

The use of low-carbon hydrogen has been tipped by organisations like the International Energy Agency as key to maintaining energy security during the transition period.

The company reiterated plans to at least triple hydrogen turnover to more than 6 billion euros by 2035.

JPMorgan analysts deemed Air Liquide's guidance on industrial capex a "significant step up" and said the strong trends in growth and earnings are likely to continue beyond 2025.

The company also guided for annual sales growth of 5% to 6% over 2025, below 2021 sales which were up 8.2% on a comparable basis, but above pre-pandemic levels.

($1 = 0.9099 euros)

(Reporting by Kate Entringer and Olivier Cherfan in Gdansk; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jan Harvey)