REINACH, Switzerland - Endress+Hauser has reported strong growth for 2012, with net sales increasing by 11% to almost €1.7 billion. Owing to a higher tax rate, net income rose by only 3% percent to €183 million, which is nevertheless a new record."2012 was not an easy year," said CEO Klaus Endress. In some markets sales dropped, but in many others the company recorded growth. "In the end we only just missed our ambitious targets," he said.According to CFO Dr. Luc Schultheiss, equity was increased by three percentage points to over 73%. The company showed growth across all regions, with exceptionally good developments in the Americas. "Key drivers behind our growth are megatrends such as energy, resources and efficiency, food, water and demography," says COO Michael Ziesemer, the CEO's deputy.By the end of 2012 Endress+Hauser employed 10,066 people worldwide—652 more than the previous year. The fact that headcount passed the 10,000 mark last year is owed to the acquisition of SpectraSensors. The U.S. company with about 90 employees develops, manufactures and markets laser-based gas analyzers. Endress+Hauser also strengthened its calibration business with a share in the Irish CompuCal Calibration Solutions.At €127 million, the Group's investments have reached a new high. Most of this was spent on expanding production facilities. The most important project was a new production facility in Itatiba near São Paulo.A new sales center in Saudi Arabia began to operate in 2012, as did a sales office in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. In addition, Endress+Hauser opened a representative office in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. At the turn of the year a sales center was founded in Indonesia. A further sales center is to follow in Algeria in the coming year – the 46th sales company in the Endress+Hauser network.Despite ongoing global economic uncertainty, the Group expects this positive trend to continue this year. Net sales are expected to grow by 10% almost €1.9 billion. For operating profit and net income, the company expects a moderate decrease. This is where investments in buildings and plants, software and IT of a record-high €160 million euros come to bear, as well as increased expenditure in research and development. Approximately 500 additional jobs are to be created by the end of 2013.