California's Cosentino Signature Wines saw losses deepen and sales fall in its first half, but remained confident on meeting its full-year expectations.

Cosentino said today (24 September) that revenue for the six months ended 30 June fell from US$5.24m to $4.49m. Loss before tax deepened to $354,000, compared to $264,000 for the same period last year.

The wine group blamed its sales dive on distributor partners reducing their inventory levels.

But, it added that sales had picked up in the second half and were 3% ahead of the previous year by the end of August.

The firm, which specialises in higher end wines, said it remained "confident of meeting or exceeding expectations for the full-year".

US premium wine sales had held up against the country's economic downturn, Cosentino said. "Despite the slowdown in the US economy, people's desire to enjoy good quality seems to have been maintained, perhaps even enhanced. The outlook for our sub-sector of the wine market in the US is strong."