Linde,, the world's largest industrial gases company, on Tuesday forecast growth of 9-12% in 2023 earnings per share excluding currency headwinds after better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.

The U.S.-German company, which supplies gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals, reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $3.16 per share, above the $2.91 per share average estimate by analysts in a Refinitiv poll.

It said it would achieve the 2023 target thanks to its balanced end-market portfolio, unrivaled network density and rigorous capital discipline. (Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski in Gdansk; Editing by Milla Nissi)