Partek Corporation has reported an 18% rise in net sales for 2000 and a 31% rise in operating profits. Growth was particularly strong in the fourth quarter, when net sales rose 32%.

The Finnish manufacturer of materials handling equipment, including Hiab loader cranes and Kalmar container handling machines, made E2,543m in sales in the period January to December 2000, compared with E2,153m in 1999. Operating profit was E161m (E123m in 1999) and net profit was E130m (up from E98m).

Orders received rose 36% to E2,383m and the order book on 31 December 2000 stood at E453m, compared with E287m a year earlier.

Sales of load handling equipment was up 60%, rising in Asia and North America but stable in Europe. The increase was partly attributed to the complete acquisition of Zeteco during the year.

Net sales of container handling equipment rose 20%, with growth strongest recorded in China, Singapore and Korea.

Chief executive officer Christoffer Taxell commented: “Year 2000 was a record year for Partek. Both sales and profits increased strongly. We were favoured by good demand, but we also acquired market shares.

Taxell continued: “We aim to continue increasing our market shares. Our organic growth was 14%, and total growth was even higher. Based on year 2000 all of Partek’s business areas fared better than well in comparison with our best competitors in terms of profitability.”