Another online Australian liquor group, Winepros, is going out of business following a voluntary liquidation announcement to the stock exchange.

Winepros listed in December 1999 raising A$25m (US$12.5m) at A$1 a share. According to its latest quarterly statement its sales for the three months to September 30 were just A$37,000. The arrangements for the liquidation of the business - which continues to operate its website - brought scathing attention from Australia's leading financial newspaper, the Financial Review, which reported that prominent wine personalities Len Evans and James Halliday would receive substantial payouts for original shareholdings on top of consultancy fees.

The failure adds to the generally dismal performance of online liquor sales in Australia. Winepros based its appeal on pay for content expert advice in a market where 80% of wines are consumed within 24 hours of purchase and where there is a wealth of free advice and quality ratings through press and media and retailer promotions.

Winepros abandonment of the field follows the failure of Wineplanet.com.au, which last March was bought and subsequently dismantled by Fosters in the face of fierce opposition from conventional retailers.