By Andrew Starke

Wine marketing and distribution company Cheviot Bridge will delist from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) next month if, as expected, shareholders approve a motion to remove its shares from the exchange.

A general meeting to decide the company’s future will be held at midday on Wednesday, February 17 at the Cheviot Bridge offices in Melbourne.

The director’s delisting proposal comes on the back of an improved half-year forecast for the six months to December.

Post-tax operating profit for the period is estimated at $335,000, compared to a reported loss of $57,000 for the corresponding period in 2008.

Cheviot Bridge attributed its improved year-on-year performance to the continuing benefit of brand portfolio enhancement and cost reduction initiatives.

“Cheviot has been looking for signs of recovery in the wine industry but acknowledges that with the pressures of oversupply, a strong Australian dollar and aggressive retail offers to the consumer, there is still significant negative sentiment and uncertainty in the sector,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.

“Whilst this industry uncertainty continues it would be inappropriate to provide detailed market guidance on the full financial year.”

However the directors noted that, as was the case last year, trading performance in the second half is expected to be better than the first half.

Cheviot Bridge also advised the ASX that Sean Edwards will retire from its board this month while also ceasing his full-time employment with the company.

Edwards will now focus on his role as chairman of the listed vineyard owner and operator, Cheviot Kirribilly Vineyard Property Group.

Shares in Cheviot Bridge were trading at 3.6 cents at midday today, down from 4.5 cents at the end of December and a fraction of the 30 cents per share they traded at in 2005.

The Shout Team

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

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