Corby Distilleries has reported a 6% rise in net earnings in its first quarter, thanks to a double-digit revenue rise.

Net profit rose to US$9.8m for the three months ended 30 September, Canada-based Corby said yesterday (12 November).

The group, which owns the licence to Pernod Ricard brands in Canada, attributed to the increase to a 10% rise in net revenue, to $46.1m.

"Despite challenging economic times, last year's momentum continued into the first quarter and double digit revenue growth has enabled us to keep investing in our brands," said Con Constandis, Corby's president and CEO.

Key brands, such as Wiser's Canadian whiskies, Polar Ice vodka and Lamb's rum all performed well during the quarter, said Constandis. He added that Corby was excited about the addition of Absolut vodka to its portfolio in Canada, following Pernod's purchase of Absolut owner Vin & Sprit earlier this year.

The first quarter revenue rise follows a slight decline in the fourth quarter of last year, which the firm blamed on the late arrival of summer. Conversely, this may have boosted sales in the first quarter of 2008/09.