By Andy Young

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has reported its figures for the first half of its 2017 financial year, with net profit after tax more than doubled to $136.2m

Speaking at the results announcement yesterday, Chief Executive Michael Clarke highlighted Asia as TWE’s engine for growth and that the company will now focus on its next challenge of improving performance in the United States.

Clarke revealed that has part of this strategy he will be spending more time in TWE’s Napa Valley office for the rest of the calendar year, “co-locating” between there and the company’s Melbourne headquarters.

“We have advised the markets that I will be spending more time in our American region,” Clarke said at the results presentation. “The US is the final of our four regional business models to be shifting from fixing into growth phase and I am looking forward to working with Bob and the team in the Americas, as we continue to strengthen our brand portfolio and business models.”

Moving on to the company’s results, Clarke added: “I’m delighted to deliver another strong financial performance, with results that demonstrate we are continuing to build momentum.

“We delivered EBITS of $227m in the first-half, more than the full-year EBITS reported in fiscal ’15 and also representing growth of 59 per cent.

“All our regions delivered double-digit EBITS growth and importantly this growth was delivered sustainably. In Australia and New Zealand we have continued to strengthen our customer partnerships by driving category growth supporting by outstanding marketing campaigns and in-store activations.

“Our ANZ business continues to premiumise, which combined with our cost-conscious culture is delivering margin increases.”

Speaking in more detail of the Australia-New Zealand regional performance, the area’s Managing Director Angus McPherson added: “ANZ delivered a strong interim-2017 result. Volume was positive and TWE gained share in the period, despite allocating even more wine to Asia in the half. Adjusting for the volume re-allocated to Asia, volume actually grew by two per cent in Australia.

“Portfolio premiumisation, by mix and price realisation shows positive NSR and NSR per case. Building on the work that we have done over the past two years, our relationship with strategic partners in Australia is strengthening as we partner with them to drive consumer insight and category growth solutions.”

McPherson added: “Our depletion performance across our major customers was very strong, demonstrating the effectiveness of our marketing and promotion campaigns across key brands in-store, and via a number of online, print and TV advertising and strategic sponsorships.”

McPherson also highlighted the Penfolds annual release and Wolf Blass sponsorship of the AFL Footy Finals, as key brand building highlights for the first-half of the financial year.

Looking forward for the rest of the year, McPherson said: “We expect to continue to outperform the category in Australia by volume and value and by remaining vigilant of our Cost of Doing Business. We anticipate continued profit growth and profitability enhancement.”

As well as announcing Clarke’s move to be split between Australia and the US, TWE also named Gunther Burghardt as its new Chief Financial Officer and he will also be based in the Napa Valley office.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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