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AUSTRALIA: BRL Hardy sets sights on global position

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Australian producer BRL Hardy could be the Microsoft, McDonalds or Coca-Cola of the wine industry, according to its chief executive, Stephen Millar. In a remarkably upbeat interview in home town newspaper, The Advertiser of Adelaide, Millar said there was no multi-national leader among wine companies and Australians were well placed to fill the gap. He said the US provided the next opportunity after earlier European success for the Hardy#;s, Nottage Hill, Stamps and Banrock Station brands. Australia was leading the way because of its cost advantage (the Australia dollar currently hovers around US50c) and the purchase of US wine producers. “The most profitable and biggest market in the world is US wine for a US market.” Millar predicted that from July this year overall US sales should be an annual 600,000 cases of the company#;s own brands and another 600,000 cases from PWP. Millar said BRL was on track for a 20% profit growth in the year to last December. He said that in a sector rife with takeovers no-one had approached BRL Hardy. Buyers had under-estimated the group#;s performance in the early days and now it was too big and growing too fast to be bought at a good price.

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