Third quarter sales and profits have improved at Homag, the world’s largest woodworking machinery manufacturer.

But the German giant still expects to record a net loss during 2011 due to restructuring measures costing €20m.

Sales grew by 20% in Q3 to €204.6m (2010: €171m), while net profits improved to €2.7m (2010: €300,000). Operating profits before employee expenses and extraordinary restructuring costs increased 25% to €17.1m (2010: €13.7m).

“Here we can see the impact of our cost-cutting measures that we adopted and implemented in response to the poorer results for the first six months of 2011,said Homag ceo Dr Markus Flik. “These include a restrictive recruiting policy and clear targets to reduce other operating expenses.”

Sales for the first nine months were €578.9m (2010: €517.1m) with a net profit of €4.3m (2010: €3.1m).

Homag said prospects for 2012 are still dominated by substantial economic uncertainty “and our customers have become somewhat more cautious”.