US premium wine producer Cosentino Wines has seen its annual losses narrow on the back of rising domestic sales.

Cosentino, which has operations in Lodi and the Napa Valley, said today (6 April) that full-year pre-tax losses for 2005 stood at US$405,037 - compared to US$2.3m in 2004. Turnover rose 31% to US$ 9.2m.

Cosentino chairman Larry Soldinger said: "Trading in the current financial year is in line with the growth targets set by the management team. The 2005 grape harvest was exceptionally good in terms of grape yields and quality and we have again been able to buy and grow grapes at competitive prices and in line with our planned production growth.

"Now that a significant proportion of our debt has been paid off, the resulting lower loan and interest costs, along with the continuing margin improvements, should result in a much improved performance for 2006."

Soldinger said that Cosentino had signed a contract for expansion work at its Clements facility which it plans to finish by August.

Soldinger added: "This is a 100,000 case facility which continues our growth of the Crystal Valley Cellars Wines. This has been designed as an expandable facility and gives the company the infrastructure for scaleable growth.

"Once all our facilities are fully utilised the production capacity of the facilities will be 192,000 cases. These investments have positioned the company well for sustained future growth."

Cosentino listed on London's AIM last December.