Foster's wine division struggles

17 February, 2010

Fosterís has reported a fall in wine sales in all of its regions, with net sales revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa declining by 76%.

Its net profits in the last six months of 2009 fell by 13.5%, a result blamed on an underperforming wine division blighted by recession and difficulties with currencies.

A year ago Fosterís took the decision to separate its beer and wine divisions, after exploring the possibility of a fully-fledged demerger. Chief executive Ian Johnston said all options remained open, though analysts expect Fosterís would still struggle to find a buyer for its wine operations at a price shareholders would accept.

In the UK Fosterís leading wine brand is Lindemans, which saw a 14% sales increase in the off-trade in 2009 and was the sectorís fourth best selling wine. Wolf Blass had a more difficult year, with sales falling 24%, according to Nielsen data.

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