The Australian winemaker McGuigan Simeon wines today said that its full year sales had increased 10%, after significant gains in higher margin products, to A$323.8m. The jump led to an increase in earnings before interest tax and amortisation of 14%, to A$66.9m.

Earnings per share (after significant items) reached 38,2%, up 15%.

Domestic bottled sales reached A$85.3m up 86%, thanks to the acquisition of the Miranda business and a focus on higher margin products. Bulk sales fell 19% to A$66.7m.

Exports, meanwhile, both bottled and flat remained relatively flat, the company said, as a result of a reduction in sales to the US.

But branded bottled exports increased 24% to A$44.4m.

"This is a strong result in a challenging wine market, WE have grown sales across the board as a result of focusing on the move from bulk to higher value branded products, said chairman David Clarke.

"Our performance demonstrates the strength of McGuigan's income streams and the diversity it allows us in production, supply markets and products."

Clarke added that: "Our trading results for the first two months of the year are above budget.

"The market will continue to be fiercely competitive and the Australian dollar will remain strong. However, our low cost base, together with the growth of branded bottled sales will see us deliver continued double digit growth.

"While we have exciting potential in our existing business we are always looking for opportunities created by the current market conditions."