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Constellation sees third quarter income up 11%

Published:  23 July, 2008

Constellation Brands announced today third quarter net income in 2007 increased by 11%.

The world's largest winemaking company, which owns over 200 alcoholic brands, cited North American sales as the driving force behind the positive figures.

Rob Sands, Constellation Brands president, said sales of US branded wines such as Woodbridge, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Blackstone, Estancia, Kim Crawford and Simi led the "solid third quarter performance".

He added: "Growth of these brands is indicative of the trade-up trends we've been seeing for the past several years, and we feel that the growth trajectory for our premium and luxury brands will continue due to consumer preferences for these wines."

Profits for the quarter ending November 30 increased to $119.6 million (60.5m), or 55 cents (28 pence) per share.

Sands added: "The company's third quarter performance was in line with our expectations, and we are especially pleased with the performances from our North American wine business and our spirits business.

"We're also delighted with the addition of the Fortune Brands US wine portfolio to Constellation's US wine business and the benefits we expect from our expanded super-premium-plus offerings."

The "lingering Australian wine surplus" in the UK marketplace was something the company was committed to dealing with, he concluded.

In a separate company announcement made today, Constellation said Barton Brands - its Chicago-based spirits firm - had acquired the remaining 50% stake in its Planet 10 Spirits joint venture.

Terms of the deal were not made available.