Shares in the Australian wine company, Peter Lehmann Wines (PLW), fell by A$0.33, or 8.1%, to A$3.77 on Wednesday after the company said it expected its net profit for the six months to the end of December 2002 to fall by 12% to A$2.9m. Net profit in the corresponding six months last year was A$3.4m.

PLW will issue its half-year results on February 11. The profit warning comes in spite of a 6% sales rise to A$22.m for the first half of the year. The company attributed the decline in profits to several factors including widespread wine discounting in Australia and export markets, the general over-supply in the world wine market and the effect that has had on trade buying and stockholding patterns. It also said it had faced higher interest charges.

The company is expected to give a forecast for the full year when it publishes its first-half results.