Foster's Group Ltd., the world's second-largest wine company, reported a 17 percent fall in annual net profit Tuesday, but forecast improved revenue in the second half of the year on strong beer sales and higher wine prices.
The Melbourne-based company reported net profit of 966.2 million Australian dollars (US$796.7 million; euro583.3 million) for the year ended June 30, down from A$1.17 billion a year before.
Group revenue rose 5% to A$4.76 billion (US$3.95 billion; euro2.89 billion), up from A$4.35 billion a year earlier.
"Growth of international wine was a highlight and reinforces our strategy to become a major global premium wine player," Chief Executive Trevor O'Hoy said in a statement. "Revenue growth accelerated strongly in the second half, up 8.6 percent at constant exchange rates."
Foster's, the world's second-biggest wine company behind U.S.-based Constellation Brands Inc., has a portfolio of brands including Beringer, Penfolds and Lindemans.
Its Australian wine business, which suffered a slump in first-half volume due to a change in its sales strategy, improved in the second half of the fiscal year, with net sales revenue up 9.8 percent.
The Australian beer business reported a 5.8 percent rise in revenue on the growth in premium and mid-strength brands, with the low-carbohydrate brand Pure Blonde more than doubling in volumes.
Fosters said it expects global volumes in the current fiscal year to be "similar" to the last, sending shares up 5.3 percent Tuesday to close at A$6.32.