Delegat's sees small earnings lift, warns on strong currency

Delegat's Group is flagging a small increase in annual earnings for 2013, though it is warning that the strong kiwi dollar is making life hard for the winemaker.

The company forecasts operating profit of $27 million in the 12 months ending June 30, 2013, managing director Jim Delegat told shareholders in Auckland.

That's a 6% lift in earnings from 2012. The winemaker sees 6% sales growth in 2013 to 1.97 million cases expected to sell at $119.10 a case.

"The group continues to actively manage its currency exposure, however currency movements have the potential to impact on earnings," Mr Delegat says.

"With strong and sustainable competitive advantages in brands, distribution, supply and quality the group is well-positioned to achieve its sales forecasts in the years ahead."

The shares fell 1% to $3.07 and have jumped 52% this year.

Delegat's expects sales to pick up in the 2014 and 2015 financial years, with the fastest growth in North America.

Chairman Robert Wilton flagged directors' fees will be reviewed next year, with the existing pool "at the lower end of the scale of companies of similar size and complexity".

(BusinessDesk)

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