By Annette Shailer

Australian Vintage (AV) is to undertake a strategic review in light of the global economic downturn and issues gripping the Australian wine industry.

The review was announced by AV deputy chairman, Ian Ferrier, at the winemaker’s annual general meeting on Wednesday (November 26).

“We face an uncertain 12 months and 2009 is likely to be even more difficult than 2008. The industry cannot go on as it has over the past five years and will have to undergo structural change,” he said.

“With the issues in the Australian wine industry, combined with [the] global economic slow down, Australian Vintage has begun a comprehensive review of our brands, strategies, costs and assets to position the company for the new reality in the markets.”

The review is expected to be completed by March 2009.

Ferrier said AV was in sound financial shape, having delivered an after tax net profit of $7.3 million in 2008 despite challenges of oversupply and increasing competition from new world suppliers.

AV shares were trading at 49 cents today (November 28) compared to 60 cents seven days ago.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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