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drinks yearbook 2011

End of year reports released in December from Australian Vintage showed that despite a 41 per cent drop in net profi ts for the six-months to December, trading had continued to steadily improve. While the company’s net profi ts were reported in at $5.9 million and net sales were $114.6 million, the results were said to be a signifi cant achievement for the business when held against the appreciation of the Australian dollar against the British pound. Foster’s Group reported a fall in volumes, causing its profi tability to drop for the fi rst time in almost 10 years. The decline, which Citibank said fell by around fi ve per cent, meant the company may not have been able to introduce above-infl ation price rises. Beer was a hot topic, with research released in December showing beer sales in Queensland had been declining at more than twice the national average 14 | drinks yearbook on the previous year. Reasons for the decline included poor summer weather, slow economy and rising interest rates. Foster’s Group also reported a drop in beer sales, which were said to be at their lowest in 10 years. This news together with the resignation of veteran CUB sales manager Robert Priest prompted the introduction of a fresh team of sales executives to help lift sales back up. But it wasn’t all bad news for brewing. Producer of the world’s most expensive ale Antarctic Nail Ale John Stallwood rounded out 2010 by admitting he used real ice from Antarctica in the production of his special limited edition brew. Produced at the brand’s Perth brewery, the 500ml bottle of beer fetched a whopping $800 at an auction to raise money for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. On the softer side of drinks, The Coca-Cola Company fell victim to a spate of bad press by consumer publication, Choice, which accused the soft drink giant of misleading the public about its fl avoured water brand Vitaminwater. The magazine noted that despite being marketed as a healthy drink, Vitaminwater contained enough sugar to provide an average woman with a third of her recommended daily intake. The company hit back, stating that all their labels were in compliance with the Food Standards Australia & New Zealand and that the introduction of a lower-kilojoule formulation presented consumers with a second calorie-controlled option. Following the earlier announcement of Constellation Wines Australia’s sale to Sydney-based CHAMP, February brought news the company would be changing its name to Accolade Wines. Managing director of CHAMP John Haddock said: “We see Accolade Wines as a company with strong fundamentals, a sound


drinks yearbook 2011
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