Asian markets drive growth at fine wine merchant BI

Alys Key
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Buying wine "en primeur" is all the rage (Source: BI)

Wine trader BI raised a glass today to a 43 per cent increase in revenues during the first half, as demand for premium alcohols shot up in Asia.

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The figures

Now in its 20th year, BI recorded one of its best sales periods to date, as total turnover reached £50m.

Asia-based buyers accounted for half of all sales, while UK customers leapt at the chance to invest in wine "en primeur" (while still in the barrel), making up 70 per cent of buyers.

The increasing taste for premium spirits saw rare spirits sales rocket up by 79 per cent, while the fastest-growing wine was Bordeaux which was up 49 per cent.

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Why it's interesting

BI's results confirm a wider trend of investors putting their money where their mouth is by buying up stocks of vintage wines, as more people choose a "hobby" investment.

The growth of the Asian market is another recurrent trend in spirits, with BI's rare whiskies proving particularly popular.

What the company said

Founder Gary Boom said: "The diversity of demand is encouraging, and suggests that the global market is maturing very nicely. Recent history also suggests that a strong Bordeaux En Primeur campaign will support and emphasise the prevailing market sentiment of the time - much as it did in 2009 and 2010 and in reverse for 2011-2014."

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