Delegat's Group has posted a healthy lift in its performance for the last six months of 2006.

The New Zealand wine company said today (16 February) that sales for the six months to 31 December came in 59% up on the year earlier at NZ$60.3m (US$41.9m).

Delegat's said sales were driven by strong demand for both the Delegat's and Oyster Bay brands. Net profit for the period followed suit, almost doubling to NZ$6.4m.

"The results for the six months were achieved despite the continuing high value of the New Zealand dollar," Delegat's said.

Historically, the company said it generates between 40% and 45% of its annual results in the first half of the year.

Last year, Delegat's acquired Oyster Bay Marlborough Vineyards, in which it already held a 33% stake, in a deal worth around NZ$6 per share.

The deal came after a protracted battle with fellow Oyster Bay shareholder Peter Yealands, who accused Delegat's and Oyster Bay of holding back information from shareholders on the value of its vineyards.