Glaston Corp., a developer of glass processing machinery and services, announced its net sales increased nearly 28 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

According to the company, orders received from January to March totaled $28.2 (EUR 25.8) million, and its order book at the end of March was $60.1 (EUR 55.1) million. Consolidated net sales in the quarter were $32.1 (EUR 29.5) million.

Glaston expects 2015 net sales and operating profit, excluding non-recurring items, will exceed 2014 levels.

“The positive development of Glaston’s business continued during the first quarter of 2015,” says president and CEO Arto Metsänen. “… Demand for our products continued to be strong, particularly in the North American area. After our good order intake in the final quarter of 2014, the situation in other markets levelled off and orders received in the first quarter of 2015 were at the previous year’s level.”

Sector-wise, both machines and services increased their net sales.

“The machines segment’s profitability growth continued to be a strong sign that our products and product development investments during recent years are fulfilling customers’ needs,” says Metsänen. “In addition, our internal processes are developing positively. In the services segment, profitability fell short of our targets to some extent, mainly due to our investments in developing the Glaston Care concept. In the longer term, this will make our relationship with our customers even closer.”

The company expects that the market will grow moderately in 2015, particularly in sales of heat-treatment machines in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

“We expect that the stable development of the South American market will continue,” reads a release from Glaston. “The outlook for the Asian market remains good, despite a temporary setback. A cautious pick-up of the market was perceptible, however, at the end of the first quarter. We still expect the Asian market to recover in the second half of the year.”