By Amy Looker

Australian wineries are still feeling the hard-hitting effects of the global economic slowdown, with De Bortoli this week posting a net loss of $1.6 million for the 12 months to June 30.

According to documents lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) by the Griffith-based family-owned company, revenue for the period was down from $203.4 million to $197.5 million.

The loss follows a year of record growth for De Bortoli in the period 2007-2008 when it recorded a profit of $20.7 million.

Managing director, Darren De Bortoli, said in his director’s report that the “consolidated loss could be attributed to declining product margins in a saturated market, investment losses and foreign currency losses as a result of the slowing economy.”

Fellow family-owned wine company, d’Arenberg, has also suffered a loss in the last financial year, with profit falling from $5.45 million to $2.675 million, equating to a 7.75 per cent loss in sales according to documents lodged with ASIC.

The McLaren Vale producer attributed the loss to people trading down in the face of economic uncertainty. “There is an expectation that people are still drinking, but they are drinking slightly lower priced wines,” said d’Arenberg’s general manager of sales and marketing, Ric Anderson.

YellowTail producer, Casella Wines, also saw profit slashed by 50 per cent, while Australian Vintage Limted reported a loss of $123.64 million.

The loss of profit among Australian wine producers follows a report released recently by four peak industry bodies calling for unprofitable vineyards to be ripped out in an attempt to combat oversupply and make the industry more sustainable in the long-term.

The Shout Team

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

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