Scheid Vineyards cut net losses in the first nine months of 2009 and is on a firmer financial footing after securing renewed support from its banks.

Net losses for the nine months to the end of November were US$1.8m, compared to $2.1m in the same period of 2008, said Scheid today (5 February).

Higher selling costs, interest charges and a lower price/mix meant that the losses overshadowed a rise in sales to $20.7m, from $14.4m last year. Sales of wine grapes and bulk wine drove the increase.

However, California-based Scheid reported that it is on a more solid financial footing.

The wine group reported in October that it was in breach of terms on its bank loan facility. The firm said today that it secured a deal with banks to amend the terms in December.

Losses from operations for the nine-month period were $2.6m, against $3.4m a year earlier.

"For the nine months ended November 30 2009, the company wrote-down its remaining 2008 vintage bulk wine inventories by $2.6m to more properly reflect current market values," said Mike Thomsen, chief financial officer.