The acquisition of rum producer Cruzan and the purchase of a stake in Beam Global Spirits & Wine has hit nine-month earnings at V&S Group.

The Swedish state-owned spirits producer said today (31 October) that net profit for the nine months to the end of September fell by 6% to SEK955m (US$132m).

V&S bought a majority stake in Cruzan last year and a spokesman said the company's move to buy the remainder of the rum producer had weighed on profits.

The spokesman said V&S had also maintained its 10% stake in Beam but had had to pay an extra US$153m to hold onto the size of that interest as the US group grew after the Allied Domecq takeover.

On an underlying basis, V&S saw operating profit rise 18% to SEK1.6bn on the back of a 13% increase in sales to SEK7.5bn.

Growing US sales of flagship brand Absolut vodka buoyed the company's spirits business. However, the company's Scandinavian spirits business suffered. Earnings fell 6% as the rise in cross-border shopping by Swedish consumers hit sales at V&S.