Alko, the Finnish state-owned alcohol retail monopoly has announced a rise in sales for Q1. The company saw sales for the three-month period to April 2004 rise by 9.1% year-on-year to 33.03m litres.

While sales of spirits rose by 22.4% to 8.034m litres in the quarter, sales of other alcoholic beverages including liqueurs and bitters climbed by 28.2% to 3.367m litres. Sales of fortified wines including vermouth, port, sherry and madeira rose by 2% to 1.396m litres.

Grape wine sales stood at 13.152m litres, a rise of 7.4%, of which sparkling wine accounted for 839,000 litres, white wine for 5.407m litres and red wine for 6.799m litres. Sales of rose wines stood at 108,000 litres.

Sales of fruit wine fell year-on-year, however, to 791,000 litres, a fall of 15.3%. Cider sales also dropped by 8.3% to 484,000 litres and beer sales fell by 1.7% to 5.711m litres.

For the month of April, alcohol sales stood at 10.551m litres, up by 12.3%. Spirit sales increased by 36.6% to 2.584m litres, while sales of fortified wines climbed by 4.6% to 392,000 litres for the month. Grape wine sales increased by 6.6% to 4.306m litres while beer sales fell by 2.7% to 1.651m litres.