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New Zealand Winegrowers 2006 Annual Results

For immediate release
22 August 2006


NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWERS 2006 ANNUAL RESULTS
SHOW STEADY GROWTH

• Export earnings exceed $500 million for the first time
• Achieved total wine sales of more than 100 million litres in domestic and export markets
• A record 2006 grape harvest of 185,000 tonnes


With strong sales growth, driven by international interest in Sauvignon Blanc, the New Zealand wine industry exceeded export earnings of $500 million, according to the New Zealand Winegrowers 2006 Annual Report, released today.

The New Zealand wine industry has grown steadily in the year-ending 31 June 2006, with total sales of more than 100 million litres of wine and a record harvest of 185,000 tonnes of grapes.

New Zealand Winegrowers Chair, Brian Vieceli, said the wine industry had achieved solid growth in key export markets while also growing emerging markets such as Japan, Holland and Ireland.

“We can feel confident from the achievements in the past year, which include strong sales, new markets and increased marketing efforts.

“The record 2006 harvest will give us wine volumes to consolidate our presence in new markets and continue supply of our top three markets including the UK, USA and Australia. Forecasts indicate we will grow exports from around 60 million litres in 2006 to over 70 million litres in 2007, but still face unfulfilled market demand,” he said.

While industry projections and surveys show strong indications of sales growth and positive future prospects, Vieceli said it’s not without challenges.

“The industry faces a number of challenges in the form of currency fluctuations, climbing Government taxes, a tough retail environment and rising input costs,” he said.

Looking ahead, Vieceli said the industry is on-track to be a major export earner with export earnings over $1 billion by 2010, making it one of the largest export industries in New Zealand.

“We have an ambitious growth strategy which must be sustainable for the future of the industry. This will be achieved through the industry working together, producing premium quality wine, innovative technology advances, excellent marketing initiatives and hard work,” he said.

Highlights and Milestones

June 2006 The value of exports was $512 million for the year-end June 2006, up 18% per cent on $435 million for the year-end June 2005.

May 2006 The 2006 grape harvest set a new record for the industry at 185,000 tonnes, up 11 per cent of the previous mark of 165,000 tonnes set in 2004.

June 2006: Vineyard plantings are expected to reach 30,000 ha in 2010, up from the current producing area of 22,000 ha.

June 2006: Pinot Noir exports grow 55% and overtake Chardonnay as our second most exported wine style.

ENDS

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