Castle Brands, the international spirits and fine wine group, has cut losses and increased sales in the first nine months of its fiscal year.

Net losses for the nine months to the end of December 2009 fell to US$1.3m, against $12.7m in the same period of the previous year, said Castle Brands today (16 February).

Net sales for the nine months rose to $22.1m, from $20.2m a year earlier.

The group, which owns Gosling's rum and Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon, said it cut losses in third quarter to $237,000, from $2.2m in the prior year.

"Our continued focus on improving margins and controlling expenses moved us closer to profitability this quarter," said Castle president and CEO Richard Lampen.

Chief operating officer John Glover added: "Our Bourbon sales continued to grow during the quarter. To support future growth, we acquired in December 2009 a rare stock of aged Bourbon to provide us with a guaranteed supply for our Jefferson's and Jefferson's Reserve very small batch Bourbons."

Third quarter net sales rose to $7.5m, from $6.9m a year earlier.

For the full announcement, click here.