The Australian packaging group Amcor has seen its nine-month profits before interest, tax and goodwill amortization increase 38%, boosted by the acquisition last year of Schmalbach-Lubeca and despite sluggish European and US economies.

Last year's A$2.9 billion acquisition of Germany's Schmalbach-Lubeca transformed Amcor into a dominant producer of PET. Meanwhile the slowing US drinks market doesn't seemed to have affected Amcor which posted a 25% PET volume growth in the US, helped by strong sales in bottled water.

Specific figures for the nine-month period were not disclosed, but the company hinted that annual earnings growth could be even higher than the nine-month increase as drinks producers stock up for the busy Northern summer.

However, the analyst said the update is unlikely to prompt brokers to alter their profit forecast for Amcor for the fiscal year ending June 30, currently around A$370 million to A$380 million. This compares with 2001-02 earnings of A$280.5 million.