Italian woodworking machinery manufacturer Biesse has seen its net losses narrow slightly to €5.4m (€6.2m: 2010) for the first nine months of 2011.

Sales were up 22% to €275.3m, with turnover in western Europe showing a continuing decline and business increasing in BRIC countries.

Third-quarter net losses amounted to €1.2m, while sales rose 34.9% to €93.7m.

The value new of orders at September 30 was 18% higher compared to a year ago, with production backlog totaling €106m.

Biesse said the period was characterised by difficult economic conditions worldwide, though the return to positive operating earnings – €700,000 for the first nine months – was “important and significant”.