State booze company drinks in profits

Absolut Vodka is continuing to sell well across the world, leading to increased first quarter profits for Swedish state drinks maker Vin & Sprit AB.

The company’s operating profits increased to 417 million kronor, up 31 percent compared to the same period last year.

“We are very happy with the result,” said Vin & Sprit’s CEO Bengt Baron. “Absolut Vodka continues to grow by over ten percent over the whole world,” he said.

Half the improvement in the results were due to higher sales of products with high margins, such as Absolut Vodka. The other half was due to a more favourable dollar exchange rate and the sale of less profitable units.

Post-tax profits increased by around 18 percent to 362 million kronor.

Turnover increased by 16 percent to 2.32 billion kronor. Vodka sales accounted for 57 percent of the company’s turnover. More than half of net turnover came from sales on the North American market, and only 12 percent came from the Swedish market.

The importance of the Swedish market to the company is likely to continue falling, Baron thinks.

“I would be surprised it Sweden’s share was more than 5 percent in 5 years,” he said.

TT/The Local