Hansgrohe reported that its revenues in the United States grew to $82.6 million in 2004, a 28% increase over the previous year. The company hopes another strong sales gain in 2005 will push it past the $100 million milestone, according to Chris Marshall, president.

Globally, company sales were more than a half billion in 2004, 16% over the previous year. Hansgrohe AG, headquartered in Schiltach, Germany, continues to attribute a large portion of its strong performance internationally to the North American market.

The double-digit increase for Hansgrohe's U.S. operations marks the 11th consecutive year of rising sales for the subsidiary since its relocation in 1994 to the northern Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Ga., from northern California, where Hansgrohe opened its first U.S. headquarters in 1988.

The company attributes its success to its focus on manufacturing, marketing and a strong relationship between its German and American managers.

Hansgrohe performs Physical Vapor Deposition plating, molding, assembly and packaging operations at its Alpharetta headquarters. This past year the company earned two international certifications: ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS 18001 (Safety and Health Management System) in addition to its previously earned ISO 9000:2000 (Quality Management System) certification.

Being one of the few European-based plumbing companies to build production operations in North America has enabled Hansgrohe to keep pace with evolving codes and standards in the United States, as well as the American consumer's ever-changing tastes, the company said.

To accommodate another double-digit sales increase in 2005, Hansgrohe will soon begin work on a headquarters expansion that will enlarge its

Aquademie training center, add to its distribution center, and create 30 additional offices for sales, marketing and other support staff. Employment should rise another 20% from its current level to nearly 400 employees in North America.