India's Sula posts profit jump in first earnings report since IPO

Sula wine bottles are pictured inside a liquor store in Mumbai
Sula wine bottles are pictured inside a liquor store in Mumbai, India, December 7, 2022. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

BENGALURU, Feb 9 (Reuters) - India's biggest winemaker Sula Vineyards Ltd (SULA.NS) reported a 15.5% rise in profit on Thursday in its first earnings report since going public, boosted by demand for premium wines and as visits to its vineyards and resorts reached pre-pandemic levels.

Sula became India's only publicly-listed winemaker in December last year, with its initial public offering oversubscribed with bids worth $190 million.

The Mumbai-based company posted a consolidated profit of 392.8 million rupees ($4.76 million) in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from 340.2 million rupees a year earlier.

The jump in profit and revenue is significant "because Q3 is historically the highest sales quarter," Sula's Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Samant said in a statement.

Revenue from "Elite & Premium" wines grew at 34.8% in the first nine months of fiscal 2023, the company said, while "Economy & Popular" wines grew at 18.3%.

Visitor numbers at its wine tourism business had soared back to pre-pandemic levels, Samant added.

Shares of the company have risen 20.2% since its market debut last year. They closed 5.4% higher on Thursday ahead of the results.

($1 = 82.5330 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Biplob Kumar Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman

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