Willamette Valley Vineyards has posted a marked slip in first quarter net income.

The Oregon wine company said yesterday (15 May) that income for the three months to 31 March dropped by 34% to US$234,263 from $357,294 in the corresponding period a year earlier. Total revenue also fell, less dramatically, by 3% to $3.6m from $3.7m.

The company blamed the lower net profit level on the "limited inventories of key varietals which have been allocated to its distributors to be shipped on a scheduled basis over the calendar year".

Despite these pressures, Willamette noted that it had had the second highest first quarter earnings since its inception.

Last year, Willamette saw full-year net profit rise 10% to $1.3m from $1.2m in 2005. Revenues were also up, by 8% to $14.9m.