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Southcorp, Akquisition von Rosemount steigert Gewinn - 500 Beiträge pro Seite



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WINE giant Southcorp yesterday predicted strong
earnings growth and greater than expected cost
savings from its merger with Rosemount Estate.

Australia`s biggest wine company reported a 4.9 per
cent rise in net earnings to $215 million for 2000-01,
reflecting the boost in wine sales following the
Rosemount wine acquisition.

Southcorp chief executive Keith Lambert said the
company had upgraded its forecast benefits from the
merger with Rosemount from $20 million a year to $50
million - with $15 million to flow in this financial year.

Mr Lambert said Rosemount had a stunning
performance, posting a 44.5 per cent lift in sales for
the year.

However, he declined to predict if this phenomenal
growth could be repeated this year.

"The outlook for Southcorp Wines is very strong," Mr
Lambert said.

"With continued strong global demand for core
brands, Penfolds, Rosemount and Lindemans,
increased capacity, improved red wine mix and a
renewed focus on branded products worldwide, we
are confident of strong earnings growth."

For the year to June 30, 2001, Southcorp`s earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) rose 11.9 per cent to $385.4 million,
benefiting from the profit from the sale of its
packaging business and six months contribution from
Rosemount.

The wine group contributed $159 million in earnings
for the year, up from $146 million.

cc,17p8 quote

"With continued strong global demand for core
brands, we are confident of strong earnings growth.`

As part of its transformation into a pure wine giant,
Southcorp offloaded its packaging business for
almost $1 billion during the year and is also selling its
water heater operations.

The divested packaging business earned $118.5
million, up from $102 million. Profit for the water
heater business fell to $77 million from $86 million.

Mr Lambert was confident the company would sell
the business this financial year for substantially
above book value, although this was most likely to
happen in the second half.

He said a number of shortlisted parties were doing
due diligence and the divestment was not a forced
sale.

However, the company does need to sell the water
heater business to maintain its provisional Standard &
Poor`s BBB-plus credit rating.

Mr Lambert said corporate costs were already falling
and Southcorp had reduced its overall wine staff 10
per cent.

Redundancies contributed to a $14.5 million pre-tax
charge relating to the $1.5 billion merger with
Rosemount completed earlier this year.

The company also wrote down the value of excess
wine stock by $45 million.

This was offset by Southcorp`s $77 million profit from
the sale of the packaging assets.

The company maintained its final dividend at 11¢, but
it was partly franked as opposed to fully franked
previously.

Mr Lambert said the company was pursuing ways to
raise the level of franking, but not for 12 months.

Shares in Southcorp fell 13¢ or 1.7 per cent to $7.38.


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