Moa Group narrowed its first-half loss after lifting sales while trimming costs, and said it expects to continue driving revenue growth while holding expenses at bay.

The loss narrowed to $1.2 million in the six months ended Sept. 30, from $1.69m a year earlier, the Marlborough-based brewer said in a statement. Sales climbed to $3.7m from $3.3m, while expenses fell to $2.4m from $2.7m.

Moa has previously given guidance for full-year revenue of between $9m to $11m, from $8.2m in the 2016 year, but the forecast doesn't include New Zealand distribution for Wellington-based craft brewer Parrotdog, which began on October 1. Moa shares rose 1.3 per cent to 80 cents and have increased 64 per cent in the past 12 months, while the S&P/NZX 50 Index gained about 13 per cent. They listed in 2012 at $1.25.

The company raised $4m in September via a placement and rights offer, although the rights issue component of $1.26m is recorded as an event after balance date. It had cash on hand of $3.1m at September 30, from about $1.8m a year earlier.

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Moa cited AC Nielsen Grocery data to show it ranks third in its share of the New Zealand craft beer market behind the craft-style beers of major brewers Lion and DB Breweries. In the first half, the volume of New Zealand sales rose 15 per cent to 923,904 litres, while its gross margin widened.

Growth in New Zealand will accelerate through the second half helped by the launch of a new Reserve 6-pack range and as it rolls out its pale ale cans nationwide, it said.

Moa brews its premium beers at its own facility in Blenheim and outsources the rest of its production. Following the tie-up with Parrotdog, the company "can now consider partnerships and acquisitions to cement its position in the New Zealand craft beer landscape in 2017," it said today.