Big profit increase for Absolut maker

Government-owned Vin och Sprit AB on Friday said net sales during the first two quarters increased to 4.99 billion kronor, up 13 percent from 4.4 billion during the same period last year. Net sales during the second quarter were 2.68 billion kronor, up from 2.42 billion kronor the same time in 2005.

VochS said the rise is due in part to the acquisition of Cruzan Rum, but also to a stronger US dollar exchange rate.

Operating profit increased by 32 percent to 1.09 billion kronor. Excluding capital gains, operating profit increased by 16 percent.

Total sales volumes in the first half year amounted to 11.9 million 9-liter cases, virtually the same as last year. Weaker sales of regional products were boosted by a strong improvement for Absolute Vodka.

“We are really happy with both the sales and results,” said Bengt Baron, head of VochS, according to TT. “We are pushing for additional market growth in the United States with Absolute Vodka, and are working hard to develop growth in lands like Mexico.”