Racke, Germany’s leading wine producer, has said that despite a difficult start to the year its turnover was in line with expectations.

"After a difficult start, strongly affected by the increase in shelf prices due to the early adaptation onto the Euro currency, we were only able to reach the turnaround within the second half of the year. Since then we were able to follow stable growth", said the chairman of the board, Marcus Moller-Racke, at a press conference.

The total turnover (incl. International business) of the company (inclusive liquor tax) amounted to €214.5m compared to €234.3m a year before. Racke said it amounted to an 8% decline from the previous year but was according to plan. Total sales were 5.1m cases.

In international business there was a slight growth of 1%, with wine the most dynamic sector. Sparkling wines were strongly affected by the aftermaths of the September 11th occurrences and strategic price increases, the company said.

Eberhard Cadenbach, member of the board national sales & marketing, said that Racke was facing challenge due to the new currency, the purchasing restrainment of German consumers and Racke’s pursuing of the increase in shelf prices. "Following the long term interest of securing our brands we were willing to resign on short term profits."