Blog: Chris Brook-CarterAussie bashing

Chris Brook-Carter | 15 September 2005

If it wasn’t for all the years’ of hurt that Shane Warne and Co. have inflicted on the English cricket team, I might feel a tinge of sympathy for the Australians after they relinquished their hold on the Ashes for the first time since 1987 earlier this week. After such an amazing series, which has captured the imagination of the English public, it's almost sad there had to be a loser.

But the truth is I am delighted.

I am less delighted about, and far more sympathetic towards, the continuing struggles of many good names in the Australian wine industry, however. Both McGuigan Simeon and Evans & Tate released poor results this week, as conditions remained tough in the market, particularly for medium-sized players such as these.

Adverse foreign exchange rates, oversupplies and the continuing growth in the power of retailers at home and abroad have combined to create something of a perfect storm for the Australian wine sector of late.
 
A characteristic optimism still abounds, however, which I encountered on my recent trip down under. But the Australian industry has been talking of turning a corner for some time and these results clearly demonstrate that they are still in the middle of the toughest period in their recent history.

McGuigan chairman David Clarke warned: “The overall market will continue to be very competitive with unfavourable exchange rates and oversupply affecting all market sectors, especially exports. We do not see this situation changing significantly in two years.
 
“While we continue to be confident in our long term future, in the absence of more favourable market conditions, the best we can foresee in the 2005-2006 financial year is net profit before significant items in line with or marginally down on this year.”

There is more on the Australian wine industry in one of our features this week, which is an excerpt from this month’s management briefing, the just-drinks’ Review of the Australian Wine Industry.


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