AUSTRALIA (Sydney) - The Australian beer and wine producer Foster had to deal with massive profit losses. In the first half-year 2008, the clear profit had declined 88.4 per cent to 111.7 Million Australian dollars (66 Million euros), the company disclosed in an assertion on Tuesday.
According to the company, especially problems in the wine export that let the gains in the wine business decline to almost 70 million dollars, were responsible for the recession. It goes on to say that by contrast the beer trade in Australia stays stable and brings Foster "solid profit accelerations". Considering the profit collapse, the second biggest wine group in the world didn't want to give any prognoses for the development of the profit next year.
Included in the calculation of the half-year balance were write-downs of 603 Million dollars that Foster had announced in June. At the same time, the resignation of the head of the company, Trevor O'Hoy, was announced. The group acknowledges to have broken its back in the purchase of wine producers - especially in the purchase of Southcorp in 2005 for 3.7 Billion dollars. The search for a new head of the company preceded as planned, as Foster now disclosed. (aw.yoopress / translator r.baur)