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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Nicolas Belfrage MW & Franco Ziliani

Gruppo Italiano Vini, the Italian wine conglomerate (Fontana Candida, Bigi, Melini, Santi, Lamberti, Nino Negri, GIV Sud), has announced a record turnover for 2002 of e245 million, a 5% increase on 2001. This takes account of healthy figures from overseas subsidiaries Frederick Wildman of New York and Gruppo Carniato Europe of Paris, in addition to the e160 million notched up by the Italian group. According to GIV, this makes it Italy's leading wine-based business. GIV is particularly proud of its foreign sales, with exports to 65 countries accounting for 73% of total turnover. The UK is the second largest market, following Germany and ahead of the USA and Canada. GIV sold 70 million bottles of wine in 2002, at a price increase of 6%. One of the most encouraging aspects of GIV's success is the performance of GIV Sud, incorporating Rapital (Sicily), Terre degli Svevi (Basilicata) and Castello Monaci (Puglia). Total sales were 2.8 million bottles, the aim being to arrive at 6 million in the next three years. CEO Emilio Pedron said that in future he sees white wines coming mainly from the north, and reds from the centre and the south, which will enable a major rationalisation of investment in the group's production. Meanwhile, the group's principal aim is to transform its current co-operative status into a public company, to which end a feasibility study will be developed during 2003.