The merged wine group, McGuigan Simeon Wines, has reaffirmed its net profit forecast for the 2002/03 fiscal year of A$37m before goodwill amortisation. However, the company warned that earnings would be heavily weighted towards the second half of the year.

"The results for the first four months of this financial year are ahead of budget," the company's chairman, David Clarke, told the annual general meeting. "We have budgeted for a full year net profit of A$37m, pre-goodwill amortisation, for this current year."

Clarke added that profit after goodwill associated with the merger would be closer to A$34.5m. The merger between Simeon Wines and Brian McGuigan Wines was completed on June 20.