The CEO of UK wine and spirit group Allied Domecq again indicated that the company would consider launching its own wine brand in Australia, following its failed attempt to acquire the country's Peter Lehmann Wines.

The UK's The Times newspaper reports Philip Bowman as saying that his company would continue to look for Australian acquisitions, but if no target emerged, an option would be to set up its own winery in Australia or import a new wine brand developed for the Australian market by one of its New Zealand wineries.

The comments were made following the release by the company of its annual results yesterday, which saw it turn in a modest rise of 3% in pre tax profits to £495m (US$830m).

Bowman said yesterday: "Our premium wine brands have performed strongly and are on track to deliver the targeted return on investment. Our strategy based around geographical and varietal diversity, brand laddering and economies in procurement has shielded us from the difficult year experienced by most other wine companies."