The Australian wine group, McGuigan Simeon Wines Ltd, has downgraded its profit forecast for the full year following a lower-than-expected grape crush for the 2003 vintage caused by the drought. The crush for the 2003 vintage came in 13% below the company's expectations.

"While domestic trading conditions continue to improve and export is strong, the lower vintage will, however, have some impact on our 2003 results," managing director Brian McGuigan said. "We expect the full year result to be approximately 6% below the A$34.2m (US$22.55m) profit forecast in the April 2002 merger scheme booklet but the revised result will be 25% ahead of the combined normalised results for the two companies (pre-merger)."

McGuigan Simeon Wines, formed in mid-2002 by the merger of Brian McGuigan Wines and Simeon Wines, is the third largest listed wine company in Australia.