US pasta-to-cheese maker Monterey Gourmet Foods posted a third quarter net loss as a result of falling sales.

Total net loss for the quarter ended 30 September dipped to US$524,000, compared to net income of $279,000 last year.

The company also posted a loss in revenue, which dropped to $23.2m from $24.5m in the comparable period last year.

Monterey has, however, looked to cut costs and with effect from 5 November has shut down its Direct store delivery system at Sonoma Foods, reduced its salaried workforce by 10%, eliminated some variable culinary support and restructured outside selling support.

The changes are expected to reduce the annual costs run rate by $1.2m, the company said.

Scott Wheeler, Monterey Gourmet Foods' CFO, said: "Our balance sheet has a solid cash position and carries no debt, so we have the flexibility necessary to continue to act on growth initiatives.

"In addition, in the fourth quarter we expect the costs of freight and raw materials to decrease, in particular flour, olive oil and pine nuts. Nonetheless, we are stalwart in our focus on controlling costs and this week we aggressively reduced ongoing expenses. We believe this approach will improve our fourth quarter results."