The Canadian wine company Andres Wines Ltd announced today sales for the fourth quarter up 8.9% to C$35.8m compared to C$32.9m last year.

For the year ended March 31, 2004, sales increased 5.4% to C$155.9m compared to C$147.9m in fiscal 2003.
The company said continuing growth was due primarily to its successful programs to build sales of its premium and ultra-premium brands.

"Our innovative programs to increase volume growth of our premium and ultra-premium brands are enhancing our strong presence in all our trade channels, including our estates wineries, Vineyards Estate Wines retail stores, provincial liquor boards, and in restaurants and other licensed establishments," commented John Peller, president and CEO. "In addition, as we have seen over the last three years, our emphasis on our award-winning premium and ultra-premium brands is also generating steady increases in profitability."

Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and unusual items (EBITA) rose to C$2.5m in the fourth quarter compared to C$2.3m last year.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 were C$0.5m.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate similar strong growth in fiscal 2005 as we continue to develop our sales channels and launch additional new premium and ultra-premium wines," Peller concluded. "Our sales and marketing initiatives have been highly successful, and going forward we will be increasing our efforts to further build sales volumes in both the Canadian and export markets."