Metals and engineering group Mytilineos posted a strong rise in first-quarter pretax profit yesterday, thanks to its acquisition of Aluminium of Greece and a higher gross profit margin. Profit before tax and minorities rose to 34.9 million euros from 5.2 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Pretax profit after minorities increased to 28.18 million euros from 4.18 million. Results were based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Figures for the same period last year were restated under IFRS. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose to 36.5 million euros from 8.3 million. Aluminium of Greece posted a 25.25 percent rise in operating profit to 17.3 million euros, while revenues remained unchanged from a year earlier. Mytilineos bought a controlling stake in Aluminium of Greece early this year from Canadian aluminium producer Alcan Inc. Aluminium of Greece was consolidated within Mytilineos group results from January 1. Construction firm Metka, 67 percent-owned by Mytilineos, more than doubled profit before tax and minorities to 11.8 million euros from 4.9 million. Sales rose 52.7 percent to 61.1 million euros. Early this month, Mytilineos said it was holding talks with General Electric and France’s Alstom on the sale of as much as half its stake in Metka. It said it will propose a 2004 dividend per share of 0.20 euros to shareholders and for Metka a dividend of 0.20 euros.