VIENNA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Austrian hydraulic lifting systems maker Palfinger said on Monday nine-month operating profit rose 3.8 percent as third quarter business picked up after a sluggish first half. Palfinger, which makes loading platforms and truck cranes, said earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were 21.3 million euros compared to 20.5 million in the first nine months of 2002. Analysts had forecast a mean EBIT of 21.2 million, according to three Austrian banks surveyed by Reuters.
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