Edwin Falkman, chief executive, said the group's business in Europe continued to expand despite the fact that only Britain achieved economic growth. 'Our market share has increased steadily in a number of countries, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Denmark and Finland,' he added.
Turnover rose 15 per cent to pounds 941.4m and earnings per share were ahead 14 per cent at 26.5p.
But the company's acquisition spree accounted for some of the growth. WMI made 48 purchases in 12 countries, including 11 in the UK and eight in Germany. Mr Falkman said he expected that pace to continue this year.
'There is increasing evidence that western Europe is returning to growth this year,' he said. 'We are also encouraged by the commitment that governments have made to the environment.'
The company is also expanding rapidly in the Far East with large projects under way in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Waste Management of the UK was bought by WMI from NFC, the transport group, in a joint venture with Wessex Water. WMI was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1992 at 595p. Yesterday its shares closed 14p lower at 665p.
It is not in the FT-SE 100 despite a market capitalisation of pounds 2bn because 80 per cent of its shares are in the hands of its US parent.