Finnish meat processing company Atria has reported 2002 pre-tax profit of €20.4m (US$21.9m), compared to €23.9m in 2001.

2002 sales were €707.0m compared to €637.4m in the previous year.

Atria gave a cautious outlook for 2003, saying competition in the Finnish retail sector was heating up, while costs were rising. The company said it would post a loss for the first half, hit by low domestic demand for beef, lower exports due to overproduction in Europe and Russian trade restrictions, and price competition.

Atria said that although it was difficult to predict full-year earnings for 2003 in Finland, it expects the total earnings of its subsidiaries, including those in Sweden, to improve compared to their 2002 levels.