US weight-loss service provider Weight Watchers International has reported a 65% fall in fourth-quarter net income, due to high year-earlier results that were boosted by a tax-related benefit.

The company posted net income for the quarter to 28 December of US$28.4m, compared with $81.8m in the year-ago period. Excluding unusual items, the company said year-earlier earnings were $19.2m.

Weight Watchers’ fourth-quarter revenue was $190.1m, compared to $145.5m in the year-earlier period.

The company also reported full-year 2002 net income of $143.7m, compared with $147.3 for 2001. Excluding the reversal of the income tax valuation allowance and other nonrecurring items, the company said 2001 earnings came to $97.2m.

Full-year revenue was up 30% to $809.6m, from $623.9m in 2001, reported Dow Jones Business News.