Australian winemaker Peter Lehmann Wines has confirmed its earnings downgrade of last month posting a 13% drop in half year profit to A$2.9m (US$1.74m).

But managing director Doug Lehmann was positive about second half earnings saying heavy discounting in Australia and Europe by larger producers, especially Southcorp had changed.

Lehmann also confirmed forecasts in just-drinks that the 2003 vintage, now under way, would be down 10% because of the current drought.

"If no significant rain is received over the next three to four weeks the crop level may drop 5-10% though quality is expected to be good," Lehmann added. Lehmann is based in the Barossa region of South Australia.