Magnotta Winery has posted a slight rise in profits for its third quarter.

The Canadian company said on Tuesday (13 December) that profits for the three-month period to 31 October were up by 3.4% year-on-year to C$883,068 (US$763,618). Net sales for the quarter also registered a slight climb, by 5% to C$6.8m.

Profitability in the period was squeezed by higher costs for raw materials and packaging mainly because of an increase in energy costs.

Quoted in local press, the Canadian wine maker said: "The 2005 Ontario grape harvest has proven to be challenging. Harvest yields are significantly less than in the prior year due to past harsh weather conditions. As a result, a decrease in the level of Ontario content in blending wines from 30% to as low as 1% Ontario content, has been approved by the provincial government.

"It is expected the company's gross margin will benefit from this change."

In September, Magnotta posted first-half sales of C$14.55m, up from C$13.97m a year before, leading to net earnings rising 5.5% to C$1.54m.