The average company within the UK food and drink sector saw sales of £147.2m in 2001, having risen steadily by12.6% from £130.7m in 1999, while pre-tax profits also grew at 13.6%, according to a report out this month by financial analysts The Prospect Shop. Pre-tax profit margins in the sector rose from 7.6% in 1999 to 8.8% in 2000, only then to fall back down to 1999 levels again in 2001.