Foster’s ups wine prices

22 February, 2010

Foster’s has been forced to increase the price of some of its wines as the UK pound continues to crash against the Australian dollar, threatening margins.

The company said it was impossible to put an exact figure on the level of the hikes it started passing on to retailers last week, but said they were not in proportion to the rising costs it was facing.

Neil Barker, commercial director for the UK & Ireland, said: “We are making a limited amount of price increases in response to cost pressures, particularly based around the Australian portfolio.

“These reflect the seismic shift in the exchange rate. There comes a time when we can’t absorb any more.

“We have been selective across the portfolio, but the increases do not reflect anywhere near the full cost pressures we are seeing. We are trying to act responsibly and limit the impact. Any price increases are done with the market in mind – and done reluctantly.”

He added that due to the current dynamics it was unlikely the financial position would improve in the near future. “We’re not talking about a short-term currency fluctuation. The fund­amentals of the Australian and UK economies are so different, it’s inconceivable that there will be a back turn.

“Whatever other suppliers do is up to them, but it would be inconceivable that the industry as a whole could absorb the kind of cost pressures which have been driven through because of the exchange rate.”

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