Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.
TSX VENTURE : DWS

Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Ltd.

August 21, 2014 21:26 ET

Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc. Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2015 Results

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 21, 2014) - Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Inc. ("Diamond Estates" or "the Company") (TSX VENTURE:DWS), today announced its results for the quarter ending June 30, 2014 ("Q1 2015").

Sales for Q1 2015 were $5,166,577 compared to $5,972,682 for the quarter ended June 30, 2013 (Q1 2014"), representing a decline of 13.5%. Gross margin for Q1 2015 was 50.1% compared to 46.8% for Q1 2014. Total operating expenses for Q1 2015 were $2,222,708 versus $2,182,715 for Q1 2014, a change of $39,993. Net loss and comprehensive loss for Q1 Y2015 was $197,681 versus $338,774 in Q1 2014, resulting in loss per share of $0.003 in Q1 2015 versus $0.023 for Q1 2014.

The sales decline in the quarter was primarily due to fewer export shipments of Niagara wine. Q1 2015 export sales were down 49.5% from the prior year largely due to the disproportionate amount of the 2014 export revenue occurring in Q1 2014. Shipments for 2015 are forecast to be spread more evenly throughout the year. The export decline masked strong growth in retail sales from the winery (up 21.6%), licensee sales (up 8.5%) and bulk wine (up 40%). Sales to the LCBO and extra provincial channels were up 4.7% from the prior year. Year over year sales decline in the imported wines and spirits business was 13.8% due to the impact of lost revenue from brands no longer sold by the agency in 2015. The Company has acquired several new brands that are expected to generate significant revenue in 2015, largely offsetting the losses. These brands include Montes wines from Chile (for Quebec), Vicente Gandia wines from Spain (for Alberta and B.C.) and Blue Hour Tequila from Mexico (national).

"Diamond Estates has demonstrated significant progress against our business strategy in Q1" stated J. Murray Souter, President & CEO of Diamond Estates, "Our focus on profitability and cost management has resulted in improved margins and positive cash flow from operations. The acquisition of several new brands will catalyze growth in the imported wine and spirits business over the remainder of the year. Our winery division continues to grow organically in all sales channels. Expansion into the fast growing International Canadian Blends segment with the launch of Riders Valley and additional product offerings, including our award winning East Dell Black Label series are examples of our commitment to building profitable brands."

On September 24, 2013, the Company's shares commenced on the TSX Venture Exchange, as a result of the reverse take-over ("RTO") of Whiteknight Acquisitions II Inc., a listed Capital Pool Company. Coincident with this transaction, the Company also raised an additional $8,351,000 in equity and renegotiated its credit facilities to significantly reduce its bank indebtedness that created a platform for the future growth of its business.

About Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc.

Diamond Estates Wines and Spirits Inc. is a producer, marketer and distributor of wines and spirits in Canada. The company operates two wineries in the Niagara region of Ontario producing VQA and blended wines under such well-known brand names as 20 Bees, EastDell, Lakeview, Dois Amigos, Hat Trick, Dan Aykroyd, Benchmark and Seasons. The company also imports fine wines and spirits from around the world and serves as the marketing and sales agent for these brands in all regions of the country. These brands include Fat Bastard wines from France, Fireball Whiskey Shooter from Canada, Hpnotiq Liqueur from France, Anciano wines from Spain, Francois Lurton wines from France and Argentina and a number of top bourbons. For further information on the company, please visit the company's SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com.

This news release may contain forward-‐looking statements that are based on the Company's expectations, estimates and projections regarding its business and the economic environment in which it operates. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to control or predict. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-‐looking statements and readers should not place undue reliance on such statements. Statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update them publicly to reflect new information or the occurrence of future events or circumstances, unless otherwise required to do so by law.

Diamond Estates Wines & Spirits Inc. common shares trade on the TSX Venture Exchange (symbol DWS).

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