Foster’s chief quits as wine sales stumble

10 June, 2008

Foster’s has sought to re-assure customers after slashing profit forecasts and announcing the loss of its chief executive, Trevor O’Hoy.

News of O’Hoy’s resignation came as Foster’s slimmed its full-year profit growth forecast from 10 per cent to between five and seven per cent.

The Australian drinks giant has also begun a strategic review of its global wine business, following poor results since the acquisition of Southcorp wine group in 2005.

A spokesperson for Foster’s admitted the group was in a “transitional” period, but re-assured customers that day-to-day operations were “business as usual”.

Chairman David Crawford said: ““The reality is we did not execute the Southcorp integration as well as we expected and operating conditions are now more challenging.”

He added that Foster’s had paid too much to build up its wine business. The group said it expected a £70m write-down charge this year due to surplus bulk wine.

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