Clothing retailer Charles Voegele Holding AG has beaten analysts' expectations with a static full-year net profit.

Profit for 2004 totalled CHF37.6 million, which was stagnant to last year's CHF37.5m but beat a bottom line of approximately CHF16m forecast by analysts.

The company said it beat expectations as a result of better demand and operating enhancements during the second half of the year.

Full-year sales dropped to CHF1.33 billion from the CHF1.41bn reported in 2003.
Voegele, which operates 788 stores in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands and is planning to expand into Slovenia this year, has been fighting debt from the growth drive it has followed over the past few years.