The chairman of Southcorp intends to retire early if re-elected next month. In a letter to shareholders today (22 September), Finn, 67, announced his intention to retire before the end of his three-year term if shareholders re-elect him at the company's annual meeting.

One third of the company's nine directors have been appointed in the last 12 months "in a manner that preserves stability and continuity," Finn said, as well as ensuring an orderly transfer of authority.

"The board is continuing this process, and although I am seeking re-election at the annual general meeting, I intend to step down as chairman and as a director before the end of the three-year term," he added.

Finn has been a director of Southcorp since 1994 and chairman since November 2002.

The winemaker has reiterated that it hopes to make a single dividend payment to shareholders in its current fiscal year "as a first step toward resuming more normal returns." Last month, Southcorp posted a full year net profit of A$46.2m after a loss of A$922.9m a year earlier.