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Ste. Michelle Sales Surge 9.4 Percent In Second Quarter

July 20, 2011

Boosted by increasing sales at the premium end of its portfolio, Washington State-based Ste. Michelle Wine Estates saw its revenue growth accelerate to 9.4% in the three months through June, with net sales hitting $116 million during the period. Operating income was up 58.3% to $19 million in the second quarter. For the first half of 2011, the winemaker’s net sales were up 8% to $217 million and operating income rose 63.2% to $31 million.

The strong value performance in the second quarter reflected Ste. Michelle’s “continued focus on improving mix with higher margin premium products,” the company said. The 12.5% volume increase to 598,000 cases for the Chateau Ste. Michelle brand during the quarter demonstrates the improved premiumization dynamic. For 2011’s first half, Chateau Ste. Michelle reached 1.113 million cases on a 4.2% rise, while the Columbia Crest brand (which recently rolled out new packaging for its Two Vines line) fell 8.7% to 877,000 cases. Including other brands, such as Erath, Snoqualmie and 14 Hands, the company’s volume was up 3.5% to 3.13 million cases in the first half.

Ste. Michelle says both the on- and off-premise channels helped drive those volume gains—and that shipments might have been higher yet if not for some distributor destocking. The group “believes that wholesalers depleted inventories in the first half of 2011. In the first half of 2010, wholesalers increased inventory levels, creating a difficult shipment comparison.”

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates – Leading Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case shipments)
Calendar Year Percent Change2
Brand 2008 2009 2010 2008-2009 2009-2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle 1,953 2,034 2,338 4.1% 14.9%
Columbia Crest 2,122 1,968 2,054 -7.2% 4.3%
Red Diamond 417 484 506 16.2% 4.6%
14 Hands 207 247 409 19.5% 65.5%
Domaine Ste. Michelle 266 283 272 6.4% -3.9%
Total Top Five 4,964 5,017 5,579 1.0% 11.2%
Other Brands 1,170 989 1,103 -15.5% 11.5%
Total Ste. Michelle1 6,134 6,005 6,681 -2.1% 11.3%
Six Months Ending June Percent Change
Brand 2009 2010 2011 2009-2010 2010-2011
Chateau Ste. Michelle 875 1,068 1,113 22.1% 4.2%
Columbia Crest 886 961 877 8.5% -8.7%
Other Brands 856 991 1,135 15.8% 14.5%
Total Ste. Michelle 2,617 3,020 3,125 15.4% 3.5%
1addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
2based on unrounded data 

Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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