American Italian Pasta has reported lower quarterly net income, as pasta sales were hit by the popularity of low-carb diets.

The US-based pasta maker posted net income of US$8.13m, for the first quarter to 2 January, compared to $8.92m in the year-ago period.

Revenues for the quarter were $101.6m, down 5.1% from $107.0m in the first quarter of fiscal 2003.

The company said the fall in revenues was partly due to there being one less week in the latest quarter. The continued grocery worker strikes in southern California impacted revenue by an estimated $1.0m-$1.5m, while revenues were also affected by the decline in pasta consumption due to the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets.

“I am pleased with the results of the quarter given some of the environmental challenges we experienced. We grew our category market share, added new business, strengthened our competitive position, and prepared to launch our new reduced carb products. This progress positions us well for excellent growth over the balance of 2004, and into 2005,” said chairman Horst W. Schroeder.