Asia fuels profit spike for Australia's Treasury Wine Estates

GMT 02:33 2015 Wednesday ,19 August

Arab Today, arab today Asia fuels profit spike for Australia's Treasury Wine Estates

Treasury wine
Sydney - AFP

The world's largest listed vintner, Australia's Treasury Wine Estates, posted a return to annual profit on Wednesday with Asian consumers driving the turnaround.

Treasury, which owns major brands including Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Wolf Blass, made a net profit of Aus$77.6 million (US$56.9 million) in the year to June 30, up from a Aus$101 million loss a year ago when it was hit by write-downs.

Underlying earnings jumped 22 percent to Aus$225.1 million, partly due an 8.4 percent increase in sales revenue, a result that saw the company's shares soar more than 10 percent to Aus$6.10 in morning trade.

Treasury, which was spun off from the Foster's beer business in 2011 and has assets on three continents with more than 80 brands, said Asia was its standout market, with 54.5 percent growth in earnings to Aus$73.1 million.

"Volume growth in Greater China, up 36 percent, and Southeast Asia, up 13 percent, reflected growing brand strength and positive customer and consumer responses to brand-led marketing initiatives in the majority of countries and enhanced routes to market," it said.

The Australian and New Zealand markets also reported strong growth while in the Americas, its largest market by volume, earnings were steady.

Chief executive Michael Clarke, who was appointed last year, said the profit was also boosted by a lower Australian dollar and reduced overhead costs of Aus$40 million.

He said the company's focus would continue to be on cutting costs and shifting its portfolio of brands toward the premium end of the market.

"Fiscal 2015 was a reset year for our company," he said.

"Fiscal 2016 is about growth," he added, as the company pursues its model of lower overheads and improved sales and marketing.

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