The Washington State-based wine company, Stimson Lane, posted full-year net profits of $8.9m, a record high for the company and 42% up on 2001. Stimson Lane also announced that fourth-quarter operating profits had risen by 51% to $3.6m.

Net revenues for 2002 rose by 7.8%, while volume shipments were 8.5% higher, the company said.

"Our results in 2002 confirmed that our long-term strategy is working," said Stimson Lane's president and CEO, Ted Baseler. "Since 2000, we have reversed the decline at Stimson Lane by refocusing our business plan on our core brands - in particular Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest - while maintaining our commitment to make the very best wines possible and offer them at affordable prices."