Despite what it described as "economic uncertainty" Constellation Brands today reported that its net income for its second quarter increased 22% and 27% for the first half. And the company said it was on-track to meet third quater and full year earnings growth targets.

Diluted earnings per share were $0.53 for the second quarter, an increase of 15% versus the same period a year ago. For the first half, diluted earnings per share increased 18% percent to reach $0.94.

Richard Sands, Constellation chairman, chief executive officer and president, said: "We are very satisfied with Constellation's second quarter and half-year results. We were able to achieve these results and remain on track to meet our earnings per share target for the full year due to our broad portfolio of leading brands, our unique operating strategy that keeps us in close touch with our markets and an industry that's able to maintain equilibrium despite economic uncertainty."

Net sales were $690 million for the three months ended August 31, 2002, up slightly over the three months ended August 31, 2001. On a currency-adjusted basis, net sales declined 2% as increased sales in fine wine and UK wholesale were more than offset by lower sales in popular and premium wine and UK brands.

Net sales for the six months ended August 31, 2002 increased 4% as compared to the same period last year.

Constellation said it expected diluted earnings per share for the third quarter to be within a range of $0.67 to $0.70. Meanwhile full year EPS is expected to be between $2.00 and $2.04.