Swiss textile machinery manufacturer Rieter Holding AG on Thursday posted a sharp fall in 2002 net profit amid sliding sales.

The firm, which also makes car parts, reported a net profit of 69 million Swiss francs ($49.7m) versus 93.2 million francs in the year-ago period as sales fell to 2.98 billion francs ($2.14bn) from 3.17 billion francs in 2001.

Rieter said in a statement it expects revenues to rise in the first half due to the high level of orders in its textile division and recent acquisitions.

But it warned sales could fall in the second half although the impact on profits would be limited due to cost control and past restructuring.