State cashes in on Absolut Vodka

Sweden's state-owned producer of alcoholic drinks, V&S Group, saw increased sales and continued profit during 2006.

The company improved its results in all areas of the business, with flagship product Absolut Vodka doing particularly well.

After-tax profits increased by 5 percent to 1.57 billion kronor, while net sales went up 8 percent, finishing at 10.34 billion kronor.

“It is pleasing that our focus on profitable growth, a better product mix and lower costs is yielding results. All three business areas are reporting increased profitability for the second consecutive year.

“This demonstrates that we have a stable foundation for continued growth and increased profitability,” said V&S Group’s CEO Bengt Baron in a statement.

Operating profit for V&S Absolut Spirits increased by 9 percent to 1.9 billion kronor.

“Increased sales of the Group’s largest brand, Absolut Vodka, are a result of our strategy of increasing efforts on the US market while focusing on a number of prioritized markets.

“We are increasing our market share in the United States and volumes are continuing to show double-digit percentage growth on most prioritized markets outside the United States,” said Baron.