Magnotta Winery has posted a sharp dip in net profits for its latest fiscal year.

The Canadian wine company confirmed yesterday (29 April) that net sales for the year to the end of January came in at CAD1.6m (US$1.6m), a marked slide from the CAD2.6m in 2008-09. Sales inched upwards, however, to CAD24.2m from CAD24m.

“The company has been expanding its branding campaign through its marketing, advertising and point of sale materials, through a radio media campaign, as well as with its print, television and in-store newsletters, product sampling exhibits and trade shows, and contests,” the company said. “This has created more brand awareness (leading to) an increase in selling, administration and other expenses.”

In the final quarter of the fiscal year, net profits performed better, climbing to CAD117,880 from CAD66,470. Sales, paradoxically, were down in the quarter to CAD4.5m from CAD4.8m.

At the end of last year, Magnotta noted that profits in the first nine months of its fiscal year were down as it upped its marketing and advertising expenses for the period.