By Andrew Starke

Constellation Brands will cut a further 40 jobs in Australia as part of the ongoing restructuring of its local wine business.

Due to public holidays in Victoria and South Australia today (Mar 8), TheShout has been unable to ascertain the positions that will be affected.

The move follows the departure of former CEO of Constellation Wines Australia, John Grant, in October last year.

Grant joined the company in 2007 from Jackson Wines Estates in California but was effectively relegated from the top position in mid-2009 to one of 13 executive positions reporting to the new president of Constellation's Australian business, Troy Christensen.

In August 2008 the US-based alcoholic drinks maker said it would cut 350 jobs from its Australian workforce in a restructure of its local operations.

Constellation undertook the review given changing market conditions, which included the stronger Australian dollar, duty increases in the United Kingdom, wine oversupply, drought-related cost increases, increasing competition, and consumer demand for higher-quality wine.

Constellation, which owns the brands Hardys, Houghton, Banrock Station and Moondah Brook, has been under pressure following a difficult 2009, which saw its share price plunge from $2.79 in January 2008 to $1.65 at midday today.

In other news from the company, Simon Thorpe MW has quit Constellation Europe to become managing director of Australian fine wine importer, Negociants UK.

Thorpe has previously worked as purchasing director at Western Wines and in the wine buying team at Waitrose.

The Shout Team

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

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