Italian food group Parmalat has reported a 15.3% rise in 2002 net attributable profit and confirmed media reports that its CFO has resigned.

The company said its net attributable profit was €252.1m (US$274.1m) for 2002, compared with €218.5m in 2001. Operating profit for 2002 rose 2.7% to €613m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slid 2.1% to €931m. Parmalat’s 2002 sales fell 2.7% to €7.59bn.

The company said its net debt stood at €1.86bn at the end of 2002, compared with €1.97bn at the end of September last year, reported Reuters.

Parmalat also confirmed that its chief financial officer, Fausto Tonna, had resigned.

Alberto Ferraris, who was head of the company’s Australian and Asian operations, was named CFO, while Parmalat’s current controller, Luciano Del Soldato, is to be given responsibility for administration and auditing.

Parmalat said Tonna would remain with the company in an advisory role and that he would remain on the company’s board of directors.