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Sweet results posted by chocolate maker

Barry Callebaut, the world's largest chocolate maker, has posted a 66 per cent rise in its full-year net profit.

The Zurich-based company said on Thursday that net profit for the year that ended on August 31 rose to SFr205 million ($175.5 million).

"We continued to see good growth in the first two months of the current fiscal year," the company said in a statement.

The 2007/08 profit for Barry Callebaut was however below the average estimate of analysts polled by the Reuters news agency, who had been expecting SFr216 million.

"A loss on the sale of financial assets and higher financial expenses had a negative impact on net profit in the fiscal year 2007/08," the group said.

Barry Callebaut is a supplier of cocoa and chocolate products for companies such as Nestlé and Cadbury.