Foster's and Minardi?

AUSTRALIA's largest beer maker Foster's has just reported a 10% increase in its profits and a leap of 21.6% in sales despite slow demand for beer in Australia at the moment. The firm made around $144m in the first half of its financial year with international sales climbing and the $1.6bn acquisition of the American wine company Beringer beginning to pay off.

The company has long been a supporter of Grand Prix racing and in recent years has acquired official supplier status in F1. It is a regular trackside advertiser but has so far avoided any direct sponsorship of a team. However the takeover of Minardi by Australian businessman Paul Stoddart, who needs to find a title sponsor for the team, would seem to be a big opportunity for the beer company as buying space on Minardi is going to be cheap at the moment.

With the focus at Foster's on international sales, an F1 program may be seen as a good idea. It may just be a coincidence that Foster's man in F1, Ian Jickell, was recently spotted visiting the European headquarters at Ledbury...

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