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Foley Family Wines turns first half profit as sales grow

11 Mar 15

Foley Family Wines, majority owned by American businessman and vineyard owner Bill Foley, posted a first-half operating profit as sales increased 14 percent.

Underlying profit, which strips out fair valuation changes for harvested grapes, was $661,000 in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $96,000 in the previous comparable period, the Marlborough-based company said in a statement. Sales increased to $15.6 million from $13.7 million a year earlier.

Net profit dropped to $400,000 from $1.1 million a year earlier, as the company had recorded a $169,000 writedown on harvested grapes, as opposed to the prior year's upward revision of $892,000, it said.

The company has wineries in Marlborough and Martinborough and links to wine distributor Eurovintage, restaurateur Nourish Group and luxury lodge Wharekauhau though Foley's private company, trading at a market value of about $75.7 million on the NZX Alternative Index market for smaller companies. Foley Family Wines acquired a Matrinborough vineyard and Lighthouse Gin brand last year.

The company is changing the distribution system for its Martinborough Vineyards sales into Australia, to lift sales after "disappointing" revenue of $611,000 in the period, it said.

Shares of the company were unchanged at $1.45. In June the company said it plans to move to the main board and raised $10 million via an institutional shares offer, which it used to repay debt and improve warehousing and bottling facilities.

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