Austrian drinks group, BBAG, reported operating earnings for 2001 of €68.4m (US$61.90m), 35.4% higher than last year and a record for the company. Pre-tax profits rose by 26.9% to €57.7m, while net profit increased by 20.8% to €18.4m.

Sales revenues at BBAG, which has beer and soft drinks operations as well as property interests, were 17.9% higher at €1.1 billion.

The company, which is proposing an unchanged dividend of €1.40, said that 2001 had been a year of consolidation with the merger of its sales divisions and the integration of newly acquired brewing subsidiaries in Poland and Romania. The company said it had also continued to develop its Pago fruit juice and Gasteiner mineral water brands during the year.