Sparkling results for Lord Ashcroft’s wine firm

·1 min read
Lord Ashcroft  (AFP via Getty Images)
Lord Ashcroft (AFP via Getty Images)

An English sparkling wine producer controlled by former Conservative deputy chair Lord Ashcroft has seen its shares rise after the firm said revenues were set to more than double.

The Kent-based firm said it expects revenues for the first six months of the year to top £3 million after deducting excise duties, a jump of 108% on the previous year, led by strong domestic sales as well as a boost in exports to Norway, Japan and the USA.

Gusbourne chief winemaker, Charlie Holland, said the sales growth “reflects the luxury status and reputation of the Gusbourne brand, the dynamic growth of the English wine sector and the increasing demand for English wines.”

Gusbourne shares rose 4.5% to 67p in early trading.

The company, which makes sparkling Rose and Blanc de Blancs wines also announced it had purchased 137 acres of agricultural land worth £1.6 million from one of its shareholders, Andrew Weeber, who holds a 4.5% stake in the business worth £1.8 million, according to Bloomberg data.

Gusbourne said it had extended its lending facilities by £6 million to support further expansion plans.

Lord Ashcroft controls a 66.4% stake in the company worth £26.6 million.

The UK’s wine industry has ballooned in recent years, with a total of 8.7 million bottles produced in 2020, according to Wines of Great Britain. Land used to grow vines has increased 70% in the last five years, with 1.4 million vines planed in 2021. Almost two-thirds of the wine produced was sparkling.