Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut has reported net profit of CHF68.3m (US$52.3m) for the fiscal year 2004/05, compared to CHF115.6m a year earlier.

Before restructuring and impairment charges, net profit was up 40.4% to CHF162.3m in the year to 31 August 2005. Sales volume grew by 4.1% to 1,052,467 tonnes even though certain unprofitable volumes in the German consumer business were deliberately discontinued during the course of the year.

Primarily due to lower cocoa bean prices and negative currency effects, sales revenue increased by 0.3% to CHF4.06bn.

"Barry Callebaut has increased its operating results before restructuring expenses and impairment charges for the seventh year in a row since our Initial Public Offering in 1998. We are satisfied with our results for the past fiscal year, and we are pleased that Barry Callebaut has been able to significantly grow the value created for our shareholders.  The operating performance of our business units serving industrial and professional customers continued to be strong throughout the year, and our consumer products unit in Europe also had a satisfactory fourth quarter," said Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut.