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TWE puts cork in tough year with slight profit lift

Business

Australia’s largest listed winemaker Treasury Wine Estates has staved off the global coronavirus pandemic and crippling Chinese tariffs to report a $250 million net profit for the 2020-21 financial year.

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The result, announced this morning, was up 1.8 per cent on the previous year but more than $100 million short of the $356 million profit it reported in 2019 at the peak of the recent wine boom.

The producer of several high profile South Australian brands including Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Wynns and Pepperjack reported net sales revenue of $2.57 billion, three per cent down on FY20.

This included a $77.3 million fall in earnings from mainland China.

However, this was partly offset by strong growth in other parts of Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, particularly for the flagship Penfolds brand.

Europe and the UK was also a standout, increasing revenues for the year by 15 per cent to $413 million.

Across the group, volumes were down 5.3 per cent to 30.6 million 9-litre case equivalents but the average price per case rose 2.2 per cent to $83.80.

This is significantly higher than the $66 per case TWE reported in 2017 and reflects its ongoing premiumisation strategy.

TWE reported strong growth in its $10-$30 premium portfolio in the Americas, Europe, UK and ANZ regions led by brands 19 Crimes, Pepperjack, Squealing Pig and Matua.

“Despite a backdrop of significant external disruption, we have delivered on the priorities we set for ourselves at the start of the year, and therefore we remain very well placed to deliver on the long-term growth ambitions,” Chief Executive Tim Ford said in a statement.

“FY21 was a year of both significant change and achievement for our business with the financial results we have announced today a testament to the commitment and strength of our global teams.”

From July 1 TWE has split the company into three divisions – Penfolds, Treasury Premium Brands and Treasury Americas.

In FY21, Penfolds sales were up 3.1 per cent to $788.9 million including a 1.2 per cent increase in Asia and an 11.8 per cent lift in Australia and New Zealand.

Treasury Premium Brands sales were down 3.3 per cent to $840 million, mainly due to a 46 per cent fall in Asia,  and Treasury Americas sales were down 7 per cent to $940 million.

The fall in American sales is partly due to the divestment of several US brands in March for $100 million.

In its result statement to the ASX today, the company said although it remained positive on its outlook outside of Mainland China, the short-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trading conditions in key markets remained uncertain.

It said its US business had undergone fundamental changes in asset base and strategy and was now well placed for long-term success.

“In FY22, we enter a new phase for TWE under our brand portfolio divisional operating model, led by Penfolds, Treasury Premium Brands and Treasury Americas,” Ford said.

“Whilst it’s early days in this change program, it is already very clear to our teams that with each division focused on their unique strategic priorities and performance accountabilities, we are better positioned to take advantage of previously untapped growth opportunities across the globe.”

TWE will pay a fully-franked dividend of 13 cents per share, up from 8 cents last year.

This takes the full-year dividend to 28 cents per share.

In February, TWE announced a net profit after tax to $175.3 million for the first half of the financial year.

TWE’s share price has continued to recover since slumping to $7.97 in early November ahead of the imposition of provisional Chinese tariffs on its wines of 169.3 per cent.

Chinese demand previously accounted for 25 per cent of Penfolds’ global allocation by volume and 39 per cent by value.

TWE’s share price was down 27 cents to $12.42 in the first hour of trade following this morning’s announcement.

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