Confectionery producer Josef Manner generated €31.4m ($37.8m) of sales in January to March 2005, up 14.4%, the company reported today (Wednesday), according to the APA-Economic News Service.

Domestic sales grew by 0.8% to €15.9m euro, while sales abroad increased by almost 33% to €15.5m.

Earnings from ordinary operations remained almost unchanged as compared with the first quarter of 2004, when they stood at €200,000.

The average number of employees fell to 794 from 742 a year earlier.

Due to the increasing hazelnut prices and restructuring costs, results in line with the previous year's levels would be considered a success in 2005, Manner said.