Forklift manufacturer Linde has achieved group-wide sales growth of 6.5% for the January-June half, recording total sales of EUR4.438 billion (USD5.46 billion).
Linde president Wolfgang Reitzle said the company was "on track", and forecast slightly better results for the remainder of the year.
"We anticipate that we will be able to achieve slight increases in sales and operating profit before special items this year, even if the economic recovery is not yet totally established in all regions," he said.
Operating profit improved 9.5% to EUR277 million (USD279 million) and earnings before taxes increased 32.2% to EUR152 million (USD187 million).
Linde's materials handling business benefited from a recovery in the world forklift market, achieving a 26.9% increase in operating profit to EUR66 million (USD81 million) on 13.2% higher sales of EUR1.591 billion (USD1.957 billion).
The forklift division's second quarter sales totaled EUR847 million (USD1.042 billion), up 14.2% on the comparable period in 2003.
"Of course, our performance in this business segment may be adversely affected by the highly-competitive trading conditions in Europe, and by rising prices for raw materials," Reitzle said.