10 Oct 2011

Delegats shifts focus to Asia

7:09 am on 10 October 2011

A surging currency has accelerated plans by winemaker Delegats to shift its focus to Asia, and reduce its reliance on its traditional markets in Britain and the United States.

The company says it expects a significant fall in profit this financial year, and total cases sold are forecast to fall 7% to 1.8 million.

Apart from the strong New Zealand dollar, Delegat's decided to cut exports of its premium Oyster Bay wine to the UK to protect margins.

Managing director Jim Delegat says Delegats opened an office in Hong Kong earlier this year to pursue growth in China and other parts of Asia.

The company already sells to large customers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Asia, by developing its presence in the duty free market.

Mr Delegat says the company is planning to have up to three people in China within the next 12 months, which will be a medium to long term investment.

He says that's on the back of very profitable business in the other parts of Asia.

Delegats is forecasting sales to rise in 2013 and 2014, with strong growth in North America, as well as Asia.