The Finnish alcohol retail monopoly, Alko, has posted a 2.4% increase in sales in the period from January to June, 2003, to 48.67m litres, against the first six months of 2002.

Sales of strong spirits, including vodka, gin, brandy, whisky and rum, rose by 2.1% to 10.18m litres, while sales of other spirits, including liqueurs and bitters, were up by 10.6% at 4.51m litres.

Fortified wine sales fell by 1.5% to 2.09m litres, while table wine sales rose by 9.4% to 19.7m litres. Beer sales fell by 9.5% to 9.40m litres.