Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

Wine sales are recession-proof and will not be hurt by the economic impact of the US terrorist attacks, leading Australian producer BRL Hardy said last week. Managing director Stephen Millar painted a very bullish picture for Australia's wine industry, dismissing suggestions that wine sales could be hit by the fallout from 11 September. The doom and gloom merchants say this is a disaster for wine sales. We strongly disagree,' Millar told a Committee for Economic Development lunch in Adelaide. Historically, wine sales have never declined in tough times - perhaps [there is] even more of a reason to drink?' he argued. Well-established in the US (earlier this month the Australian wine group's US joint venture Pacific Wine Partners bought the California-based Blackstone for $US140 million [A$290 million]), BRL Hardy reported a $30.7 million net profit for the six months to 30 June 2001, a 23.7% increase on the same period last year. Millar said Australia's wine sales in the US had shown exceptional growth'. Millar also dismissed the idea that a wine glut' would impact on Australia's wine sales. There had recently been significant vineyard plantings, in Australia and overseas, of grapes to come on-stream over the next few years, but Millar said the level of supply was irrelevant, because well-priced quality Australian wine would continue to sell first. He said the Australian wine industry should continue to focus on the low-profit $US4-8 and A$5-10 markets. This is where the main game is played and represents 34% of total world wine sales. This market segment is where Australia has real dominance and competitive advantage.' Future opportunities for the Australian wine industry have never been brighter. However, our offshore competitors are becoming more professional,' he said. Within five years, Australian wine should be 25-35% of the UK market, and BRL Hardy is targeting its share to be between 25-30%.