NESTLE has reported a net profit of 10.4bn Swiss francs (£6.2bn) for 2009.
The profit below the 18bn francs the company reported in 2008, which included profits from the sale of part of its stake in eye care company Alcon.
Sales rose by 4.1 per cent to 107.6bn francs while analysts had predicted the figure to be 3.9 per cent.
Nestle said it had grown “substantially faster” than its industry as a whole and was upbeat about the year ahead.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Bulcke said in a statement: "With organic growth of 4.1 percent achieved in last year's challenging environment, we were able to grow substantially faster than our industry.'
Nestle's brands include Nescafe, Kit Kat, Perrier and Haagen Dazs.
Bottled water was the only product area which saw a drop in sales.
It fell by 1.4 per cent on the previous year.