Australian winemaker Southcorp has seen the benefits of a focus on profitable sales rather than getting drawn into discounting in the UK market.
Reporting full year results, the owner of brands including Lindemans Rosemount Estate said that less discounting in the UK, as well of sales growth elsewhere in Europe, has seen its business in the region return to profitability ahead of expectations.
In the year to June 30, Southcorp's earnings before interest, tax, amortisation and significant items were AU$176.3 million, up nearly 50 per cent from 2003, and at the top end of market expectations.
After a year of 'bedding down internal issues', Southcorp chief executive John Ballard said the outlook was positive. "While market conditions remain competitive in all our regions, the business is expected to deliver modest profit growth in 2005, underpinned by an increased investment in advertising and promotion."