China has found a taste for Australia's Penfolds and Wolf Blass wines

Wine tasting at the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival. Jerome Favre/Getty Images

The appetite for the big taste of Australia’s Penfolds and Wolf Blass wines is growing in China and the rest of Asia.

Demand drove volumes for Treasury Wine Estates up 149% in North Asia and 27% in South Asia during the six months to December. Sales revenue in Asia more than doubled to $157.3 million.

So important is the market in Asia that Treasury decided to hold the global launch of its 2016 Penfolds range in Shanghai. It also ran a Wolf Blass “After Six” occasion-based campaign in China.

And Treasury increased its in-store activity across all regions, including winemaker visits for Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Wynns. Wolf Blass is also sponsoring the National Basketball Association competition in China.

The activity is all part of Treasury’s restructuring, concentrating on a smaller range of premium wines rather than moving bulk wines, building better routes to market and strict control of inventory.

The company’s statutory net profit was up 42% to $60.6 million for the six months.

Sales gained 22% to $1,138 billion. That represented an extra 722,400 cases, taking the total for the six months to 15.8 million.

A short time ago, Treasury shares were up 2.2% to $8.95.

CEO Michael Clarke says the result highlight the benefits of repositioning the business.

“We entered 2016 with the strongest line-up of brand and consumer-led innovation and marketing campaigns,” he says.

An interim dividend of 8 cents a share, 2 cents per share higher than the prior year, was declared.

The breakdown of sales revenue for Treasury Wine Estates:

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