Big Rock Brewery has posted a sharp fall in net income for the third quarter.

The Canadian company said yesterday (13 November) that net profit for the three months to the end of September fell to C$1.3m (US$1.36m) from C$2.7m in the same quarter a year earlier.

Sales for the period also fell, to C$9.8m from C$11.2m. The brewer blamed the decrease on a planned fall in value brand sales, the planned elimination of give-away promotions related to craft beer sales and an increase in federal excise taxes in the period of C$400,000.

For the first nine months of this year, net income also fell, to C$4.0m from C$6.5m. Sales also slipped, albeit less worryingly, in the period, to C$28.6m from C$30.1m.

Big Rock said it is "actively pursuing" export opportunities in both the US and overseas to replace the value-priced beer volum it has lost in the third quarter.

"We are well into our strategy to re-focus the organisation," said Ken Barbet, Big Rock's president and CEO. "The third quarter results reflect this re-focus and are generally on track with what we expected. Focusing on the core of our business should help us to grow profitably in all markets over the next few years".

Last month, Big Rock's CFO, Timothy Duffin, said he would leave the brewer at the end of this year. Duffin, who is also the vice president of finance, is resigning "to pursue other interests", the company said, but will continue to provide "advisory and consulting services in 2008, as required".