German packaging giant Krones has reported a 7% rise in earnings for the first nine months of the year thanks to a series of efficiency and cost-cutting measures.

The company said today (6 November) that net profit was up 7.1% to EUR48.5m (US$61.6m). Sales jumped 11% to EUR1.3bn.

Krones said it had managed to boost orders during the third quarter despite "continuingly fierce" competition throughout the sector.

"Earnings have of course been adversely affected by external factors, such as continuing predatory competition and rising costs for materials," the company said.

"But for 2006 as a whole, the figures for the past nine months augur an approximately double-figure growth in sales."