Spirits producer Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC) has announced that Moody's Investor Service has issued an upgrade on the company's corporate family rating from B2 to B1 with a stable outlook.

Moody's said the rating "reflects improving operating performance of the company" as well as "strong cash flow characteristics of its production business that enabled the company to reduce leverage".

"We are pleased that Moody's has recognised our improvements in operating performance and leverage as well as the success in integration of our Bols and Bialystok acquisitions that were completed in 2005," said CEDC president and CEO William Carey. "Debt reduction has been an integral part of our strategy following these acquisitions, and we look forward to continue to develop our business and strong cash flow."

Although based in the US, CEDC operates in Europe and is the largest vodka producer in Poland, producing brands such as Absolwent, Zubrowka, Bols and Soplica.