Norwegian alcohol sales are on the rise, according to recent figures. In the first nine months of this year, sales of alcohol in the country were up by 5.7% on the corresponding period last year to 46.89m litres, former Norwegian drinks monopolist Vinmonopolet said yesterday (19 October).

Following adjustment for seasonal effects, sales were still up over the period by 5.3%, and by 6.2% in the month of September.

Vinmonopolet credited the rise to the increasing purchasing power of the Norwegian population, the opening of new stores and the reorganisation of existing stores into self-service outlets.

While sales of table wine rose by 6.5% to 37.945m litres, spirits sales increased by 3.3% to 7.883m litres. Sales of fortified wine fell by 4.9% to 726,000 litres, however, as beer sales dipped by 2.5% to 277,000 litres. The sales of alcohol-free registered a slight increase of 1.2% to 56,000 litres.

Vinmonpolet is now solely a retail monopoly in Norway.