Pyramid Breweries has pulled itself into the black in its third quarter results. The company said its net income reached US$439,000 for the period compared to a net loss of US$420,000 in the same period last year.

Excluding the impact of a US$415,000 gain realised on the sale of excess production equipment, net income on a pro forma basis was US$24,000, representing an increase of 106% over the third quarter in 2004.

The result was attributed to beverage sales volume increases and the cost reduction initiatives related to consolidating production operations, offset by increased freight costs and additional sales and marketing activities.

The US speciality brewer reported net sales of US$13.5m, up 20.6% on last year's third quarter. Third quarter net sales were comprised of beverage segment net sales of US$9.3m, which increased 26.1%, and alehouse segment sales of US$4.2m, up 9.9%.

"Our investment this year in sales and marketing resources including package redesign work released in the third quarter and additional investment in sales resources is paying off with increased sales volume and revenue," said John Lennon, CEO. "This is evident by our success with increased volume across all of our major brands but is primarily driven by the Pyramid family of beers contributing volume growth of 23.7% or 7,200 barrels over the third quarter of 2004. The consolidation of our brewing operations into Berkeley and Portland last spring, combined with increases in production efficiencies at both our brewing facilities, have resulted in better cost structures and improved margins."