Christian Porta, chief executive of Australia's Jacob's Creek wine brand, expects double digit growth in its key UK market this year further building on its total record sales of 5.3 million cases in 2001.

Speaking to local journalists in advance of the 2001 profit result by Orlando Wyndham, the Australian arm of the French parent Pernod Ricard group, Porta said the 2002 Jacob's Creek marketing drive would concentrate on sparkling wine.

In the UK, Jacob's Creek sparkling wine now ranked third behind Italian and Spanish brands. Looking at prospects overall Porta said: "Year-on-year we continue to grown and year-on-year we think that maybe the growth rate will reduce but year-on-year that doesn't happen."

Jacob's Creek is the best selling brand for Pernod Ricard. Porta said he did not believe overseas interest in Australian wine had peaked. "If you look at the market in which we operate, apart from the UK which has a significant market share of 17% in a lot of other markets Australia is still a very small player. Porta would not comment on the  Australian arm's 2001 performance due to be lodged within the month but said Orlando Wyndham profits had grown by an average 20% since 1998.