By Bill Bregar, UT Akron BureauFlorence, Kentucky-Krauss-Maffei Kunststofftechnik GmbH hit record sales last year, and company leaders are expecting a repeat for the global maker of injection presses, extruders and polyurethane processing equipment in fiscal 2005.In the US, the firm's new MX large-tonnage, two-platen injection-moulding press is selling briskly, officials said at the Plastics Technology Conference, held May 18-19 at Krauss-Maffei Corp. in Florence.Josef Märtl, chairman of the managing board at Krauss-Maffei in Munich, Germany, and Paul Caprio, executive vice president of the injection moulding division for KM's US unit, discussed the company's first-half results in an interview.As part of equipment conglomerate Mannesmann Plastics Machinery GmbH, Krauss-Maffei's fiscal year runs 1 Oct. -30 Sept. In fiscal 2004, KM generated record sales of €538 million (about $650 million) as all three equipment segments had higher sales than the year before.KM issued a news release in April saying that, through the first half of fiscal 2005, "it is quite realistic" to repeat that sales level. For the first half - ended March 31 - sales totaled about €275 million, down slightly from €283 million in the first half of last year.The company does not release net profit figures, but Märtl said Krauss-Maffei is profitable.Globally, increased sales of extrusion and reaction injection moulding equipment offset a 13-percent sales decline for injection moulding presses, the company reported.But new orders for injection presses, at around €200 million for the six-month period, are on par with the high levels of the year before. Company-wide, Krauss-Maffei received more orders for small and mid-tonnage presses from the packaging, medical and consumer-goods industries.Globally, the automotive market placed slightly fewer orders for large-tonnage KM machines, the company said.Caprio said the large-tonnage MX machines have sold well in the United States for automotive and packaging, since KM introduced the line at K 2004."We put that into packaging, because they're high-speed machines," Caprio said.Packaging continues to be Krauss-Maffei's strongest US market, he said.Krauss-Maffei's Plastics Technology Conference drew more than 600 people to the company's Florence facility to hear technical presentations and see the wares of 69 exhibitors."