Constellation Brands, the world's largest wine producer, is to cut up to 450 jobs thanks to weak Christmas trading in Australia, Europe and especially the UK.

The cuts – about 5% of Constellaton’s 9,000-strong global workforce – were a further reflection of the ‘realities of the marketplace’, said president and CEO Rob Sands.

‘We experienced weaker-than-expected demand in our European and Australian businesses during the Christmas and New Year holiday,’ Sands added.

‘The most significant impact was in the UK, where the economy weakened during this critical selling season, retail competition intensified, and we made the decision to forego participation in significant price discounting offered by multiple grocers.’

More details of the job cuts, which will be made across Constellation’s global businesses, will be revealed as part of the company’s earnings announcement on 8 April. This follows 50 UK redundancies announced last December.

Constellation also said last month that it was selling Goundrey Wines (Western Australia), for nearly AUS$9m (£4.36m), and has sold its US value spirits business to Sazerac Company for US$334m (£226.5m), yielding post-tax proceeds of US$210m to be used to reduce debt.

Written by Richard Woodard