Blog: Olly WehringWine and economics tough mix for Foster's

Olly Wehring | 15 February 2006

It was a confident Trevor O’Hoy who presented Foster’s first half performance to the market yesterday (14 February), and not without good reason. The company reported a 10.5% leap in normalised net profit and perhaps, more importantly, the smooth progress of its integration of Southcorp.

“This is an excellent result in a period of substantial change,” O’Hoy claimed.

Foster’s added that it also remained confident of meeting its financial targets and realising significant further synergies following the Southcorp deal.

And, importantly in such difficult times, all the company’s global wine brands, with the exception of Rosemount, achieved growth. Wolf Blass and Beringer continued to grow volume and revenue, whilst Penfolds and Lindemans stabilised.

But the problems with Rosemount, which suffered a 20% downturn, encapsulate the fears the general market has for the sector. With an already troubling wine surplus and continuing pressure on margins from the global retailers, Australia has turned in a record harvest.

Indeed, despite Foster’s positive results, the market responded by slashing 3% off the world’s second largest winemaker’s share price.

“We are as well placed as any wine company in the world to deal with the surpluses,” chief executive Trevor O'Hoy told Dow Jones Newswires today, however. “It will make it a tough market, but everyone will face it and we'll face it from a better position because we've got greater efficiencies.”

Granted, this is very much a transition period for Foster’s. “In six short months, we’ve taken on the Southcorp integration, continued to develop our unique multi beverage business in Australia and established the world’s leading premium wine portfolio,” O’Hoy said.

That may be true, but Foster’s share performance demonstrates the problems of trying to make money in an industry dictated to by the forces of nature. No amount of restructuring from Foster’s can overcome this problem, or allay the fears of nervous investors.


Are you fodmap-compliant? The latest health fad uncovered

Forget gluten-free. Fodmaps are the latest food trend, and if you work in the soft drinks industry it is important to know where you stand with them....


Baileys and the "bellwether of naffness"

Companies are very protective of their brand image. So it is refreshing to hear Diageo's Garbhan O’Bric, the global brand director for Baileys, speak the unvarnished truth when talking about the lique...


From pixels to pilsner - how video games are moving into alcohol

Alcohol companies love a good movie tie-in. A brush with Hollywood glamour seems to give marketers the warm and fuzzies, judging by the number of deals done over the past few years. The new James Bond...


Tax Free World Association - Day three: Beam Suntory's big boat and Patron's virtual home

just-drinks is in Cannes this week at the Tax Free World Association show. Here's the second part of Andy Morton's blog, which will keep you up-to-date at one of the most important dates in the Trave...

just-drinks homepage

Forgot your password?