Castle Brands has narrowed its net loss in the third quarter, as sales picked up during the period.

The US-based spirits marketer said yesterday (14 November) that net loss for the three months to the end of September totalled US$3.3m, an improvement on the $4.2m registered in the corresponding period a year earlier.

Net sales in the quarter were up to $8.8m from $6.3m in Q3 2006, while operating loss was reduced slightly, to $4.3m from $4.8m.

For the six months to the end of September, net loss dropped to $7.7m from $8.3m in 2006, as sales lifted $14.5m from $11.7m in the corresponding six-month period a year earlier. Operating loss reduced only slightly, however, to $8.8m from $8.9m.

"I am pleased with the rebound in momentum exhibited during the second quarter, which we had anticipated following certain anomalies that artificially depressed first quarter sales growth," said company CEO Mark Andrews. "The launch of the new Boru packaging in both the US and Europe continues to be a major success for the company, as evidenced by a 70% increase in case sales in the US during the second quarter and a 22% increase in international case sales."

Going forward, Castle said it has prepared a repackaging of its Clontarf Irish Whiskey brand, as well as increasing on-premise distribution of Pallini Limoncello.