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Ste. Michelle Sales Leap 23% In Third Quarter

October 27, 2011

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates saw a marked acceleration in both volume and value over the three months through September, with net revenue up 23.4% to $132 million on a volume increase of 19.7% to 1.84 million cases during the period. For the first nine months of 2011, the Washington state winery’s net revenue rose 13.3% to $349 million, with volume up 9% to 4.97 million cases.

Sales trends improved for both of Ste. Michelle’s core brands in the third quarter. Chateau Ste. Michelle posted an 8.5% volume gain, versus a 4.2% rise over the year’s first half, while Columbia Crest reversed an 8.7% decline in the six months through June with a 7.7% increase in the third quarter—although Ste. Michelle parent company Altria allowed that the timing of Columbia Crest shipments partially accounted for that.

Altria, whose other companies include Philip Morris USA, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco and cigar maker John Middleton Co., said Ste. Michelle also boosted shipments with “the national expansion of select wines into off-premise channels.” (Beyond Chateau Ste Michelle and Columbia Crest, Ste. Michelle’s portfolio also includes Snoqualmie, 14 Hands, Red Diamond and Oregon’s Erath among others.) Meanwhile, Ste. Michelle’s focus on driving its product mix upmarket was showing progress, mirroring the strong growth of the super-premium segment across the U.S. wine market in 2011. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates won two Impact “Hot Brand” awards this year—for Chateau Ste. Michelle ($9-$15 a 750-ml., up 15% to 2.34 million cases in 2010) and for 14 Hands ($11-$15 a 750-ml., up 67% to 410,000 cases).

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates – Leading Brands
(millions of nine-liter cases)
Nine Months
Ending September
Percent
Brand 2010 2011 Change1
Chateau Ste. Michelle 1.63 1.72 5.7%
Columbia Crest 1.41 1.36 -3.6%
Other Brands 1.53 1.89 23.9%
Total Ste. Michelle2 4.56 4.97 9.0%
1addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
2based on unrounded data

Source: IMPACT DATABANK

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