Southcorp, the Australian wine giant, has said that a new focus on premium products should increase sales of the Penfolds brand to five million cases a year within the next five years. In addition, it has stated that the development phase of the Penfolds expansion plan has been completed.

The company, which sold 1.8m cases of Penfolds in 2001, is shifting away from low value bulk products and increasing its focus on premium products to try and boost returns.

In a presentation to investors, managing director Keith Lambert said: "The Penfolds brand will be a key driver of our earnings growth and contribute to improved returns on our asset base"

Penfolds has averaged a price of A$115 a case compared with A$63 for Lindemans brand and A$88 for Rosemount.

During 2001, Southcorp spend spent A$1.5 billion acquiring Rosemount and sold off other assets in order to focus operations on wine.