Net profits at Switzerland's Conzzeta Holding look set to rise in 2001 after sales and profit margins improved in the first four months, but the Swiss firm warned conditions would get progressively tougher during the year.
The mechanical engineering and consumer goods group said on Wednesday it boosted sales in the first four months by 17.5 per cent to SFr326.6 million ($185 million) and operating profit by 27.3 per cent to SFr25.2 million.
Net profit edged up to SFr18.7 milllion from SFr17.7 million from the same period a year ago. This included one-off income from property sales.
"Conzzeta Holding expects positive developments to continue until the end of the year, although under increasingly difficult conditions. Order inflow in machinery and plant construction as well as consumer confidence are supporting the group's growth," the company said in a statement.
"Risk lies in a weakening of the economy and developments of exchange rates. The satisfying start to the year leaves room to improve annual results," it added.
The group had net profit of SFr64.7 million in 2000, with sales of SFr911.3 million.
The Zurich-based group was established in 1912 through the merger of five tile and brickworks companies.
swissinfo with agencies
In compliance with the JTI standards