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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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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