The economic crisis did little to dampen Australia’s appetite for beer, but it has taken a toll on the Australian wine industry, Foster’s (ASX:FGL) CEO Ian Johnston said today.
Foster’s domestic beer sales grew 2.3% during the 2009 financial year, with revenue from beer growing 5.5%, Johnston told investors. Sales will likely continue to rise now the worst of the crisis seems over.
But the crisis caused consumers to eat out less and 'trade down’ to cheaper wines, including cleanskins and private label wines able to take advantage of tax concessions Foster’s cannot.
Because Foster’s wine portfolio is geared towards higher cost wines, this had a definite impact on Foster’s business, he said.
But Johnston added that the company’s wine business was profitable in 2009 and remains so today.