Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Allentown, today forecast that its revenue would grow by 11 percent to 13 percent a year over the next four years - making it a $15 billion-a-year company by 2015.

In its fiscal 2010, which ended last September, Air Products' revenue was $9.0 billion.

The revenue forecast was made at an investor conference by John McGlade, the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer, and was based, he said, on its strength in the energy and environmental fields and in emerging markets around the world.

He said he expects the company to continue to lower costs, improve returns and gain a competitive advantage over rivals - including boosting its operating profit margin by about 3 percentage points to 20 percent by 2015.

In fiscal 2010, Air Products posted net income of $1.1 billion.

The company's shares have gained 38 percent in the last 12 months and were up $2.49 in early-afternoon trading today to $93.29.

Earlier this year, it withdrew a bid to acquire rival Airgas Inc., Radnor, which rejected the offer as too low.

Air Products supplies specialty gases and services for energy, technology, health-care and other industries.    - Paul Schweizer