Andres Wines Ltd has reported a 16.3% increase in its first quarter sales for 2006 to C$46.8m from C$40.3m last year, following acquisitions the company made in May.

"The increase is due primarily to the company's successful initiatives to grow sales of its premium and ultra-premium wines and the contribution of Cascadia Brands and Thirty Bench Winery, both acquired in May 2005," a statement said.

The sales increase resulted in an 8.2% rise in net income to C$2m or C$0.42 per Class A share from C$1.9m or C$0.39 per Class A share last year.

"The acquisitions of Cascadia Brands and Thirty Bench Winery have enhanced our presence in the Canadian wine industry and will result in solid contributions to our growth in the coming quarters," said John Peller, president and CEO.

Earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) for the three months to 30 June increased 19.8% to C$5.7m, primarily due to the higher sales.

Selling and administration expenses rose in the current period due to the acquisitions. As a percentage of sales, selling and administrative expenses improved to 29.6% in the quarter from 30.9% last year.
"We were pleased with our results in the first quarter, and anticipate a strong performance through the balance of the year," said Peller.