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Darren de Bortoli slams listed wine companies

Published:  23 July, 2008

The managing director of one of Australia's largest family-owned wineries, De Bortoli Wines, has accused its big, stock-market-listed rivals of damaging the Australian industry as a whole by capitulating to short-term pressures.
Darren de Bortoli added that 2006 would see the toughest operating conditions in the past 20 years' and that things would stay bad for a drawn-out period' due to grape oversupply.

De Bortoli wines bucked the trend of falling profits across the industry - McGuigan Simeon, Evans & Tate and Orlando Wines have all seen their profits plunge, for example - and racked up a profit of A$17.8 million. The bottom line is that we've been in the industry long enough to have seen this all before and were able to prepare for it,' he told the Sydney Morning Herald. That's why it's very annoying that family companies are left in the quagmire that's created by the rest of the industry.

This industry is a long-term industry, and you have public companies with short-term pressures. As a result, they adopt strategies that have compounded their problems. Pricing competition is getting to the point where it is becoming ridiculous.'