Switzerland's National Bank made a profit of SFr2.7 billion in 2000, down from SFr4.5 billion the previous year. The bank said changes in exchange rates were behind the drop of 60 per cent.
Whereas they brought profits of SFr4.1 billion in 1999, currency fluctuations led to a loss of SFr1.1 billion in 2000.
A spokesman for the institution said the sharp rise in the value of the dollar against the franc was the main reason for the drop. Other currencies in which the bank holds reserves also fell in value.
Despite the decline, the bank said it intended to distribute the same amount - SFr1.5 billion - to the federal government and cantons. The remaining SFr1.2 billion will be used to boost the bank's reserves.
On paper, the Swiss National Bank's profits actually rose 28.1 billion in 2000, thanks to a revaluation of the country's gold reserves.
swissinfo with agencies