20 Feb 2009

Wine maker doubles profit

7:17 am on 20 February 2009

Wine maker Delegats Group has produced a corker result, more than doubling its half-year profit.

The listed firm made $15.7 million in the six months to December, compared to $6.4 million in the same period last year.

Sales rose 46% to $80 million on the back higher prices and robust international demand for its premium Oyster Bay brand.

Australian sales accounted for the bulk of sales, however managing director Jim Delegat says the company is expanding its presence in the lucrative North American market.

Mr Delegat says European consumers also lapped up the company's wines, with New Zealand sauvignon blanc a particular favourite in Britain.

He is confident international demand for its premium wines will remain strong despite the severe global downturn, and is predicting the wine company's full year result to jump by half to $24.5 million.

Delegats Group also managed to cut net debt to $154 million.