Profits hit pounds 122m at Mannesmann

Mannesmann, the German communications and engineering group, reported an almost fivefold increase in pre-tax profits for the first half-year to 30 June of DM277m (pounds 122m). Sales rose from DM14.19bn to DM15.71bn.

Communications, machinery and vehicle engineering all contributed to the strong growth and the group forecast that orders and sales in 1995 would exceed last year's levels.

Mannesmann said it invested DM1.154bn in the period, 17 per cent higher than a year earlier. Most of it went into the machinery, telecommunications and vehicle technology divisions.

The company said the telecommunications division would continue to grow strongly, powered by the growth of D2, Mannesmann Mobilfunk's mobile communications network. First-half orders in this division rose 61 per cent to DM1.186bn, while machinery orders declined 1 per cent to DM8.054bn.

Mannesmann said that only the electrical and trading divisions sustained a loss in the first half. The company said the electrical division achieved most of its sales and earnings in the second half of the year.

However, start-up costs arose at Communications Network International - which is building an advanced telecommunications system for big customers - and at Autocom, which is developing a radio-controlled traffic routing system.

Mannesmann said that the total number of employees stood at 131,577 at end-June, up 5,104, largely as a result of the consolidation and acquisition of new companies.

Within Germany, staff numbers rose 2 per cent to 87,400; outside Germany, they were up 9 per cent at 44,200.