Oyster Bay maker focuses on sales growth

Last updated 16:01 04/12/2012

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Listed winemaker Delegat's, which produces the Oyster Bay brand, is on track to achieve sales targets this financial year as it increases profit in its established markets and ramps up sales in developing markets.

Speaking at today's annual general meeting, managing director Jim Delegat said the company expects to achieve a net profit of $27 million for the year ended June 2013, up 6 per cent from the year before.

He warned that currency movements might have an impact on earnings, as the NZ dollar remained higher than forecast for the first five months of the year.

During the year, Delegat's raised prices in the UK and Ireland to improve profitability, but sales are expected to fall 1 per cent in 2013.

In the growth markets of the Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand region, sales volumes are expected to rise by 2 per cent to 706,000 cases in 2013. Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee is a focus growth in these markets. 

The key growth markets are the US and Canada. 

"We've got to believe that the US market will improve and consumers will dig in to their pockets and buy wine," Delegat said. Sales volumes in those two countries were expected to rise 21 per cent to 645,000 cases next year. 

To supply the expected increase in demand, the group has bought a 102 hectare Marlborough vineyard and several vineyards in the famed Gimlett Gravels region of Hawke's Bay that cover a total area of 100 hectares. 

Chair Robert Wilton said the term "refreshment" had been raised on a number of occasions in relation to the board's make-up.

"In hearing what various sectors have said, John Maasland has retired after eight years on the board," he said. 

Maasland was replaced by Alan Jackson. 

A review of directors' fees is expected to occur before the next annual general meeting, said Wilton.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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