The world's largest food manufacturer reported strong sales gains for 2005, despite barely improved operating-profit margins that leave it lagging rivals' profitability.
    Nestlé, whose brands include Stouffers prepared meals, Perrier water and Ralston Purina petfoods, reported 2005 net profit up by 21% to Sf8 billion ($6.08bn; €5.12bn; £3.48bn) versus Sf6.62bn in 2004.
    The 2004 figures were restated due to the application of new international accounting standards. Those changes contributed in part to the strong rise in profit; an accounting change having depressed the 2004 profit figure. Sales rose 7.5%, to Sf91.08bn from Sf4.69bn in 2004.
    In contrast to the majority of its global peers, the secretive Swiss company reports only full-year results.