Pyramid Breweries has reported a rise in both sales and profits for its first quarter.

The US speciality brewer and soda producer said yesterday (4 May) that gross sales for the three months to 31 March increased by 10% year-on-year, reaching US$11.5m. The growth was driven primarily by a 32% rise in volumes from the core Pyramid Brand Family.

Net loss for the quarter improved by 55% to US$505,000, compared to a US$1.1m loss a year ago. Company EBITDA for the quarter improved 183% to US$255,000 from a loss of US$307,000 last year.

"The entire brewing industry performed exceptionally well during the first quarter, with the craft beer category continuing to flourish," said John Lennon, the company's CEO. "Benefiting from this trend and our renewed focus in sales and marketing resources, the Pyramid Brand is successfully driving sales volume and revenue growth. In particular, we are seeing improving results emerge from our expansion in the Southwestern states," Lennon noted.

The company noted slight declines in its other brands, however. Thomas Kemper Soda and MacTarnahan's Brand volumes were down 17% and 26%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2005.

In assessing the company's position, Lennon said: "The true test will come during the second quarter, where we will be cycling sales volumes against the comparable period in 2005 which inaugurated operating efficiency improvements and significant sales volume and revenue growth."