Sales up for Australian Vintage

Australian Vintage has seen sales in the UK and Europe grow 20% in the half-year to December 31, largely thanks to growth in the McGuigan brand, the company has reported.

But the region’s contribution to the company’s overall profits fell by AU$0.9 million, or 32%, hit by the higher cost of the 2014 vintage and some large bulk deals in the last six months of 2013 which were not repeated in 2014.

In its half-year results announcement the company noted that margin pressures had also hit profits in the UK and Europe. 

Across the company net profits grew to AU$4.4 million from AU$4 million for the same period the year before.

Total revenue was up 16% to AU$121.7 million thanks to sales increases across its markets.

Chief executive Neil McGuigan said: “The continued growth of our three key brands is very encouraging. However, due to the higher cost of our 2014 vintage and some large bulk wine sales, the improved sales did not directly translate into improved margin dollars.

“Our branded business continues to grow and what is really pleasing is the continued growth of all our three brands. McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe increased sales by 19% and these brands now make up 60% of our total wine sales. In comparison, for the six-month period to December 2010, the sales of these brands made up 39% of total wine sales.”

Australian Vintage chairman Ian Ferrier said: “We remain confident that our strategy of growing the export business, increasing our branded sales and controlling our costs is the correct strategy.

“We continue to face short-term challenges due ot our high cost from the 2014 vintage and the ever-increasing margin pressure from our competitors and from our major customers.”

The company forecast its 2015 profits to be slightly higher than in 2014.

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