Frigoglass nets gains

Frigoglass, a Greek supplier of custom-made refrigeration equipment, said nine-month profits rose 20 percent as it sold more equipment to brewers and soft-drink makers in Eastern Europe and India. Net income climbed to 44.8 million euros, or -1.12 a share, from -37.5 million, or -0.94 per share, a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based company. That beat the median estimate of six analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News for a profit of -43.9 million. Profit was aided by lower taxes and financing costs, the company said. «India, the UK and France continue to show excellent growth prospects, as does our largest market Russia, where breweries are leading the way,» Managing Director Petros Diamantides said in the statement. Frigoglass plans to sell more coolers to beverage makers in countries, including China and India, where economic growth is set to spur the consumption of soda drinks as well as alcoholic beverages. The company increased its forecasts for earnings this year, saying it now expects sales to grow as much as 12 percent from a previous forecast of 9 percent. Per share earnings will probably accelerate as much as 18 percent compared with a 15 percent estimate previously, said the company. Capital spending is forecast to remain at around -53 million, as the company builds a plant in China and expands capacity in Russia and India, said Frigoglass in the statement. The company has opened a plant in China in October in time to benefit from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Nine-month sales gained 13 percent to -382 million.