Australia's Treasury Wine yr profit beats forecast

MELBOURNE, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates, the world’s second-largest wine firm, posted full-year profit above analysts’ forecasts, as it made strong inroads into the Asian market helping offset lower volumes to the United Kingdom.

Treasury, the maker of Penfolds, Beringer and Wolf Blass, said on Friday net profit after tax before one-off items was A$135.5 million ($142 million). That compared with analyst forecasts of A$129.9 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.

But Treasury Wine said constant currency earnings growth for fiscal 2013 would be below the average of the past two years, partly because of a shortfall of premium wines available and higher costs.

Earnings in Australia and New Zealand rose 12 percent, helped by cost-cutting.

U.S. earnings declined 11.6 percent as Treasury spent more on building brands.

Treasury Wine has pulled back from cheap wine for the UK market and is instead focusing on its premium brands, particularly in Asia where earnings surged 40.6 percent and contributed about 20 percent to group earnings in the year.

There is no comparable year-ago period for net profit because Treasury Wines was spun-off from Foster’s Group in May 2011.

Sales revenues declined 5.6 percent from a year ago on a decline of 4.4 percent in volume. (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Ed Davies)