ROME, April 12 (Xinhua) -- Italy's wine sector posted strong gains in 2017, according to an annual wine industry survey by analysts at Italian merchant bank Mediobanca on Thursday.
Turnover rose by 6.5 percent in 2017 compared to the previous year, and by 24.7 percent compared to 2012, according to Mediobanca. The survey covered 155 Italian wine companies, which in 2016 totaled turnover of 25 billion euros (28.32 billion U.S. dollars).
The positive numbers were due to a 7.7 percent rise in foreign sales and a 5.2 percent increase in the domestic market, according to the report. Other European Union countries were the main foreign buyers of Italian wines, with 53.4 percent of the market (+8.6 percent compared to 2016). They were followed by North America (31.9 percent of foreign sales, +5.7 percent), Africa and the Middle East (9.1 percent, +5.8 percent), Asia and Australia (4.2 percent, no change), and Central and South America at 1.4 percent.
The report also found that in 2017, the 155 companies surveyed increased their investments in material assets by 26.7 percent compared to the previous year, and generated a 1.8 percent rise in jobs in the same period.
Italy's "spumante" or sparkling wines were the best performers overall (+9.9 percent), while regular wines sales added +5.6 percent, according to Mediobanca.
Companies which are major national wine producers but generate their turnover chiefly via products other than wine are not included in the annual survey.