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Montana drinks to future growth

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 18th August 2000

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Wine maker Montana has announced a 97% jump in its full year net after tax surplus, and further profits are already being talked about for next year.

The $48 million surplus includes a big gain on sales of the company's subsidiaries, Game Meats, Truck Investments and Go International. Those sales added $17.1 million to the result, net of redundancies, closure costs and write-down of asset values.

Montana's earnings before interest and tax for the year grew by 25.3% to $48.9 million on revenue growth of 10.9% to $227.5 million.

The wine maker says further profit growth is expected next year from increased exports, a continuing focus on differentiating premium products and improved customer service.

It says future years' results will also benefit substantially from the extra volume of premium wines from maturing vineyard plantings of recent years.

Montana's directors have declared a fully imputed dividend of 3.5 cents.

Montana has seen a flurry of interest in its shares in recent weeks, with brewer Lion Nathan wanting to increase its stake to more than 28% by purchasing all of GPG's shareholding. Montana has also applied for Commerce Commission approval to buy rival wine maker, Corbans.

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