The world's largest inspection group, SGS of Geneva, has announced a profit of SFr692 million ($620.4 million) - a rise of 38 per cent over the previous year.
The group, which verifies the quantity, weight and quality of a wide variety of traded goods for governments and companies, reported this was due to strong demand for its services and an exceptional tax gain.
Revenue increased by just over ten per cent to SFr4.8 billion.
SGS said in a statement on Thursday that "in an increasingly volatile trading environment" it had increased net profit to SFr579 million (before exceptional items), an increase of 12.4 per cent compared with 2007.
The group said in its outlook that it expected to grow this year but at a slower pace than in previous years.
The board of directors is proposing a dividend of SFr50 per share – easily beating forecasts – and has approved a share buyback programme of SFr250 million.