By James Atkinson
The McGuigan brand drove an increase in Australasian and North American packaged wine sales for Australian Vintage over the half year to December 31, 2013, but the company has reported a five per cent earnings decline due to falling bulk wine sales.
Australian Vintage EBIT was $11.3 million, compared to $11.9 million in the previous year. This was off the back of revenue of $105 million, down from $110 million.
“The five per cent decline [in EBIT] was due mainly to the reduced contribution from bulk sales to North America (down $1.7 million on last period) and the lower adjustment to the provision for onerous contracts (down $0.3 million),” the company said.
“Partially offsetting this was the improved contribution from the Australasia/North America packaged ($0.4 million) and Cellar Door ($0.3 million) segments and the impairment of water licences ($0.9 million) that occurred in the prior period.”
Australian Vintage reported an improvement in net profit of $700,000 due mainly to reduced interest cost partially offset by the lower EBIT.
An increase in bottled wine sales of 15 per cent was partially offset by a 15 per cent decline in cask sales. Sales of the McGuigan Black Label brand went up by 29 per cent in Australia.
Australian Vintage chairman Ian Ferrier said: “The continued growth of our brands is very pleasing.”
“The 2014 vintage has started and there are signs that the frost and recent heat have impacted negatively on vineyard yields.”
“However, it is still too early to accurately predict yield forecasts. As per usual, we will provide the market with a trading and vintage update at the completion of vintage,” he said.