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Ste. Michelle’s Sales Bounce Back In First Quarter

April 25, 2019

After a decline in the final quarter of 2018 due to distributor destocking, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates posted a 6.3% net revenue increase to $151 million in the first three months of this year. However, operating income slipped 12% to $15 million, as higher costs and promotional investments offset the rise in sales.

On a volume basis, Ste. Michelle was up 8% to 1.9 million cases in the first quarter. Among the brands making gains for the company is the Erath label from Oregon, which earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors after increasing 25% to 293,000 cases in the U.S. last year.

Meanwhile, Ste. Michelle parent Altria has completed its $1.8 billion investment in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos. Altria now has a 45% economic and voting interest in Cronos, and the option to acquire an additional 10% equity stake looking ahead.—Daniel Marsteller

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