Krones, the German-based manufacturer of bottling plant equipment, this year reported first-quarterly turnover up by 16.6 per cent to €344.8 million and incoming orders up by 2.7 per cent to €346.5 million. Profits in the year's first quarter were up by 32 per cent.
With a high level of capital expenditure and appropriate organisational changes, working procedures in the group have been optimised over the past years, which, the company said, has added to the increase in profitability.
At the end of March 2002, Krones had new orders worth €346.5 million, 2.7 per cent up on the the high levels of the preceding year. This has been achieved because the company has continued to be conspicuously export-oriented: the group's steepest growth was achieved in North America, but it also performed well in Eastern Europe, the Near East and Asia, where it has won a number of significant contracts.
For the year as a whole, the company expects growth of at least 5 per cent for turnover, and at least 10 per cent for annual surplus, but slower growth is expected than in recent years. For 2001, the company saw turnover up by 15 per cent and annual surplus up by 31 per cent.
The company is now considering growth in equipment for packaging activities other than those for drinks. It also plans to expand in Asia and North America.