Leading Chilean wine firm Viña Concha y Toro has reported net sales up by almost a fifth in the first half of 2009.

Net sales for the first six months of the year rose by 19.5% to CLP163m (US$297,600), compared to the same period a year earlier, Concha y Toro said yesterday (9 July).

A 17% rise in wine export sales for the half, to CLP117.9m, drove the strong performance, the firm said. Export sales rose by 19% in the second quarter, said the group, which owns the Casillero del Diablo wine brand.

Domestic wine sales rose by 4.5% for the six months, to CLP 23.4m, while the firm's Argentina-based subsidiary reported a sales increase of 14.6% for the period, to CLP11.4m.

Export sales by volume rose 10% for the half-year, although volumes in Argentina fell by 7%.

In March, an unconfirmed local report said Concha y Toro had signed a distribution deal with Diageo in Chile.