Australia’s biggest wine brand, Jacob’s Creek, has reversed its run of sales declines following a renewed focus on offering premium wine to drinkers, reporting positive global sales of 2 per cent for financial 2012 after posting a 1 per cent drop in revenue in the previous year.

The No. 1 Australian bottled wine brand by both value and volume has also accelerated its penetration into the highly attractive Chinese market with 32 per cent growth in net sales for 2011-12 driven by a dedicated marketing and portfolio strategy which last year saw Jacob’s Creek advertising and promotional activity expand from 5 to 24 cities.

For the year Jacob’s Creek saw global volume drop 2 per cent but value of sales rise 2 per cent, reflecting its decision to move away from bargain-basement priced wine to concentrate on the fatter margins available higher up the price curve.

The company today said performance highlights for the year included 25 per cent value growth in the Australian market for Jacob’s Creek. Emerging markets were also particularly strong for Jacob’s Creek, demonstrating the growth opportunity for wine in emerging Asia and Eastern Europe.

Net sales growth was recorded in India (+34%), Thailand (+32%), Russia (+16%) and Poland (+20%).

The results for Jacob’s Creek were released as part of the latest financial performance for Premium Wine Brands, which owns the label as well as Australian brand Wyndham Estate, Campo Viejo of Spain and New Zealand’s Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh. Premium Wine Brands is part of French liquor giant Pernod Ricard.

The division recorded 4 per cent organic sales growth for financial 2012. Each of the group’s priority premium brands posted positive organic growth with Jacob’s Creek (+2%), Brancott Estate (+2%) and Campo Viejo (+11%).

“What’s particularly pleasing is that growth has been driven by value," Premium Wine Brands chief executive Jean Christophe Coutures said. “In difficult market conditions, we have not wavered from our premium focused value strategy. This approach has seen us continue to improve and increase our contribution to the group substantially.”