Israeli food maker Osem Investments has posted a drop in fourth-quarter net profit, according to reports.

The Israeli company, which is 53.8% owned by Nestle, saw its net profit fall to ILS65.9m (US$15.7m) from ILS79.2m in the previous year.

Osem said the decline was due to a capital gain in the 2007 fourth quarter from the sale of real estate.

Excluding one-off items, net profit in the quarter grew 5% to ILS56.8m and sales rose 6% to reach ILS788.9m.

Earlier this year, a unit of Osem completed a US$20m deal to buy US vegetarian food producer Foodtech International.