Leading Brands has posted a reversal of its net losses in its latest quarter, despite a marked slide in sales in the period.

The Canada-based soft drinks company, which operates in the healthy beverage category, said late last week that net profits for the three months to the end of November totalled CAD66,288 (US$64,277) compared to net losses of CAD535,769 a year earlier. Sales in the period dropped to CAD4.4m from CAD6.2m.

"This is the first profit generated by the company in its seasonally slow third quarter since 2001," Leading Brands said. The quarter also represents the first one in which the company no longer distributed its low margin legacy food products, concentrating instead solely on its core branded beverages.

For the first three quarters of Leading Brands' fiscal year, net profits are running at CAD1.1m, against net losses of CAD1.4m for the corresponding period a year earlier. Sales remain down, however, at CAD15.9m versus CAD22.5m.

Among Leading Brands' portfolio are TrueBlue and Caesar's Cocktails.