The troubled Australian wine group, Southcorp Ltd, has reported a net loss for the year to the end of June 2003 of A$922.9m (US$599.3m), against a net profit last year of A$312.7m.

The company, which sacked its CEO, Keith Lambert, in April, has written down goodwill by A$642.5m and the value of the Rosemount brand by A$240m. The group acquired Rosemount Estates in 2001 from the Oatley family for A$1.5 billion. The market had been anticipating writedowns of A$400m to A$500m.

Excluding significant items, earnings before interest, tax and amortisation reached A$132.1m which was in line with Southcorp's guidance issued in May.

Total revenues were 53.7% down at A$1.24 billion, though last year's turnover of A$2.67 billion included a A$1.20 billion contribution from businesses which have now been sold off.

Southcorp's CEO, John Ballard, conceded that the results were "unacceptable" but said there were "seeds of improvement; they reinforce the need for urgent and substantial action to improve efficiences across the country."

EBITA at the group's Australasia division was cut in half to A$40.1m, while the UK and Europe division posted a loss of A$8m against a profit last year of A$71.9m. The company's Americas division registered an EBITA of A$100m, down from A$134.3m last year.