The US winemaker Robert Mondavi Corp. today reported a third quarter quarterly loss of US$1.6m, compared to net income of US$7.6m in the same period last year.

The company blamed an oversupply of grapes, a slump in travel and price competition.

Net income for the first nine months of the fiscal year increased by 6% to US$16.3m, from US$15.4m. Net revenues for the first nine months of the fiscal year increased by 5% to US$331.9m, reflecting a 5% increase in sales volume.

"The decrease in our sales volume and revenues this quarter reflects intensifying competition in the premium wine industry resulting from a weak U.S. economy, an oversupply of grapes and increased retail buyer power at the trade level," said Gregory M. Evans, president and CEO.

"To improve our position in this fiercely competitive market, we began implementing a number of significant changes in our business during the last month. These changes included the centralization of all marketing and sales responsibilities and all California production and vineyard operations, a workforce reduction and the sale of non-strategic assets," he added.