Evans & Tate is waiting for approval from its biggest creditor on a fresh plan to restructure its debts after posting annual losses of almost A$64m (US$48.3m).

The Australian wine producer said it has started the "complex but crucial process" of restructuring its balance sheet with a proposal to ANZ Bank to cut its debts of over A$140m.

E&T did not reveal any details on its proposal when it reported its full-year results for the year to 30 June yesterday (13 September). The company posted net losses of A$63.9m, down from a loss of A$73m a year earlier. Revenues slumped 16% to A$80.8m because of lower margins in the UK and Australia.

Managing director Martin Johnson admitted that the last year, in which E&T has announced inventory writedowns and winery sales, had been "tough by any standard".

He said: "No-one here feels good about the results we have delivered. We took losses to reduce our surpluses without destroying the integrity of our brands - but that was not enough."

Johnson said E&T was "much better equipped" to manage supply and demand and prevent "the horror of over-supply" that hit the business last year.

However, he said the changes that had taken place at the company have left it better positioned to survive. "There was almost nothing about Evans & Tate that was not turned upside down and inside out in 2005-06," Johnson said.

He pointed to a new management team and a new UK distribution agreement with local agency HwCg. The company, Johnson said, would continue to focus on the premium end of the market.

He said: "There is little doubt that our premium strategy will be supported by outstanding quality in the bottle but we need to grasp the opportunity to tell that story much better through our brands. As consumers move on a global basis ever more toward high-quality wines in the luxury wine segment, they are moving to our strength."

North America will be a "major focus" this year, the company said, as it looks to build on a 35% leap in sales on the continent last year.

Sales in Europe slumped 51% last year due to falling UK sales, lower prices and a rising Australian dollar, E&T added.