A group of smaller publicly listed Australian wineries reported mixed fortunes and forecasts to shareholders yesterday.

Cranswick Wine Estate saw its net profits halved to A$3m (US$1.54m), following the loss of a contract to produce Cinzano and asset sales. The profit downturn was despite a 9% increase in revenue to A$60.382m, mainly from continuing success in the UK and other European markets.

But managing director Graham Cranswick-Smith said he expected earnings this financial year to increase on the back of export sales boosted by a joint venture with Indian producer Chateau Indage to sell wine in the sub-continent's 24 wet states.

Cranswick-Smith also said the company would focus on the high volume global market segment after selling its Haselgrove business earlier this year.

Meanwhile the Western Australia producer Evans & Tate increased its profit by 13% to A$2.6m. And the South Australian bulk wine producer Simeon Wines recorded just 1% profit growth to A$15.4m.

But Simeon shares rose on the forecast by managing director Neil MacKenzie that stronger export would lift profit by 12-15% in the 2001-02 year.