Underwear and knitwear manufacturer Minerva has posted a drop in pre-tax profit to €1.3 million for the nine months ended September 2004 from €1.4m in the same period in 2003.

The company's turnover rose to €16.3m from €15m in 2003.

Gross profit margin decreased to 37.6 per cent for the first half of 2004 from 40.1 per cent for the first half of last year, due to high operating expenses.

Advertising costs pushed up operating expenses by 6.2 per cent on a year-on-year basis for January-September 2004.