The Australian wine group, Southcorp, saw its shares rise by 4% after it issued an upbeat trading statement, reporting that its sales were up in Australia, the US and the UK.

Southcorp posted Nielsen figures showing that its wine sales had increased in the US and Australia in the 13 weeks to the end of October compared with the corresponding period in 2001. It also showed that sales in the UK had risen in the eight weeks to the end of August.

While the total Australian market rose by 12.2% in volume the 13 week-period, Southcorp's volumes were up by 26.3%. The company also reported that Southcorp volumes had increased by 37.4% in the US in the quarter, in comparison with an overall market decline of 3.1%.

The market greeted the news enthusiastically, with Southcorp shares rising by 18 cents, or 4%, to A$4.61 ($2.58).