DELEGAT Jim and Rosemari
While his company was staying afloat nicely, Jim Delegat found himself in a tricky sink or swim situation.
In June, Mr Delegat was aboard a yacht competing in
the Auckland to Noumea yacht race when it hit high seas and its hull and decking rapidly began to deteriorate. The 24-metre maxi yacht, Beau Geste, issued
a distress call and had to seek shelter in Norfolk Island.
The crew of 17 was most certainly put in a position of grave danger, Mr Delegat – managing director of Delgat’s Wines – says. “I do believe we were a hair’s breadth away from catastrophe. I take a lot of satisfaction from the fact that we got ourselves home.”
He attributed the successful outcome to “good team work and focusing on what had to be done to keep the yacht afloat.” Which is a bit the way he and sister Rosemari Delgat, Delegat’s executive director, operate their NZX-listed company on land in Henderson, Auckland, bought by the family in 1947. The company now operates substantial vineyards in Hawkes Bay and Malborough and is producer and marketer of premium brands, including Oyster Bay and Delegat’s. It expects to deliver full-year operating profits of between $20.5 million and $24 million.
This year has been a solid one for business, with good distribution gains made in key global markets, such as the US, Canada, Ireland and Singapore, Mr Delegat says.
“The exchange rate remains a headwind for the industry.”
He believes Delegat’s stays ahead when others in the industry may not be succeeding because it is long established and has some scale in its business. “We have worked hard over many years on building and maintaining strong distribution channels and enduring business relationships.”
Asked to opine about his philosophy behind the making
of both wine and money, he says: “No one has ever succeeded on their own. Build a great plan,
aim high, shoot for the stars and develop a great team to succeed.”