TOP 200 : Marsh Most Improved Performance Award – Delegat’s Group

Outstanding New Zealand wine producer Delegat’s continues to confound the critics and the global economy. This profoundly smart marketer of Delegat’s and Oyster Bay wine brands turned in another outstanding and enhanced performance this year. The record sales and profit results “achieved in challenging year are testament to the strength of the Group’s business model”, says the company’s irrepressible and inspirational managing director, Jim Delegat.
This large family-owned business is driven and directed by Jim and his sister, executive director Rosemari Delegat. Their Croatian-born parents founded the winery in Henderson, west of Auckland city, in the late 1930s.
Despite the challenging global business environment, the company grew its revenue 37 percent this year and its after tax profit by 57 percent – not bad when reports of doom, gloom and glut in the wine industry are uncorked with astonishing regularity.
Jim Delegat puts this year’s vastly improved performance on 2008’s record-breaking year, down to the “strength of [the company’s] business model in global market where wine consumers are shopping smarter and seeking out brands that deliver value relative to their price point”. The Group has been able to “effectively manage and maximise” its in-market price realisation and still deliver record volume growth.
The company is continuing to expand its international markets. It sold 20 percent more cases of wine offshore this year. Never one for understatement, Delegat told his shareholders this year that his company’s Oyster Bay brand is “becoming increasingly established as one of the world’s great ‘super premium’ wine brands”. He doesn’t expect that to change any time soon, even though he believes challenging business conditions will “prevail throughout 2010”.

Winner : Delegat’s Group

Delegat’s is popping the cork on performance again this year. On top of stellar performance last year, it reported an almost 40 percent climb in revenue and dramatic 52 percent increase in profitability this year. The company has defied the worldwide recession, an oversupply of product, and strong dollar to turn out what is in real, rather than extraordinaries-driven, another improved performance. As listed company, Delegat’s Group delivers impressive returns to its shareholders, which is the kind of improved performance the market is always looking for. The company expects to grow again next year on the back of its resilient business model which has made its wine brands household names in an increasingly diverse number of wine-buying nations.

Finalist : Kiwibank

Kiwibank has, quite frankly, stolen march on the established trading banks that have for so long dominated the New Zealand financial sector. It is, said the judges, home-grown success story. Kiwibank has optimised the opportunity delivered when the Government sponsored its establishment through New Zealand Post. It has also optimised the opportunity presented by local dissatisfaction with the services offered by the major banks. Its huge customer uptake and popularity is the result of its professional approach to offering the right services at the right price. An outstanding performance against the might and muscle of traditional banking interests.

Finalist : Solid Energy New Zealand

Solid Energy’s hot performance through spectacular increase in both revenue and profit must be acknowledged. The first is up 77 percent, the second 222 percent despite, according to its chairman, missing its budgeted targets by 50 percent because of second half slump in coal demand and prices. Global demand for steel fuelled coal prices, which set the business alight in the first half of last year. That situation could be repeated again next year. Despite the vagaries of international demand and price, the company is winner. It is professionally run, forward looking and globally competitive. Solid Energy deserves its place as finalist at the 2009 Top 200 Awards.

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