The Swiss industrial group, Saurer, is back in the black after reporting strong sales figures for 2000. Orders rose 68 per cent to SFr2.38 billion ($1.44 billion), with sales up 60 per cent at SFr2.21 billion.
The company said on Tuesday that the increase in sales could be mainly attributed to higher demand for its products in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
In 1999, the group made a loss of SFr51.55 million.
The best performing division was Saurer's textile machinery business, which reported sales growth of 80 per cent to SFr1.66 billion.
Sales at the components business increased 21 per cent to SFr566 million, growth in transmission systems climbed 24 per cent to SFr336 million, while Saurer's surface technology division improved sales by 17 per cent to SFr223 million.
The company said its expects continued growth in all its businesses in 2001, and said strong order books would keep it busy into the second half of the year.
Full results for 2000 are expected on April 19. Analysts are expecting Saurer to report net profit of SFr61 million to SFr88.5 million for last year, rising to between SFr94.6 million and SFr141.1 million in 2001.
swissinfo with agencies