The German beverage filling lines and packaging machinery manufacturer Krones has reported sales for 2005 of EUR1.7bn (US$2bn), up almost 12% on 2004.

The company said the 2005 performance had been boosted by a strong final quarter. Net income rose by 2.2% to EUR63.4m, with 2005 profit margins severely hit by competitive market conditions.

Krones said there had been strong demand for water bottling lines and increased orders for PET packaging plant.

The company's international activities have expanded further. Business outside Germany rose from 82% in 2004 to 87% in 2005. Nearly 55% of the company's business in 2005 came from outside Europe, 32% from other European countries and 13% from Germany.

Krones is forecasting further sales growth in 2006. The company is also planning to invest some EUR69m in upgrading its production facilities in Germany in a bid to increase productivity and improve earnings.