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Delegat's stock gains on record earnings

Thursday 28th August 2008

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Shares of Delegat's Group, producer of Oyster Bay wine, rose 5.4% after the company posted record earnings and raised its final dividend.

The stock rose 12 cents to NZ$2.35, paring its decline this year to 11%. Net profit rose to NZ$19.1 million from NZ$10.8 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement today.

Delegat's has benefited from rising demand for New Zealand wines in the Europe, North America and Asia that helped exporters make a record NZ$800 million of sales in the latest year. The company's own sales rose 17% to 1.44 million cases.

Increasing demand for Oyster Bay wine "positions the group well for future growth," chairman Robert Wilton said.

Sales rose 23% to NZ$165 million.

The company increased its harvest, reflecting new plantings and favorable growing conditions, especially for Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. That variety is Delegat's biggest seller globally.

The company will pay a dividend of six cents a share, up from 4.5 cents in the previous year.

Shares of Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards, the grape grower established and 50.1% owned by Delegat's, jumped 9.9% to NZ$3.00.

By Jonathan Underhill

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