Vinmonopolet has reported a healthy lift in sales for the first month of this year.

The alcohol retail monopoly said today (18 January) that sales in January increased by 6% on the corresponding period a year earlier, coming in at 4.5m litres, measured in pure alcohol.

While the table wine and spirits categories saw sales increase by 6.4% and 5.7% respectively, Fortified wine and beer sales headed in the opposite direction, down by 7.5% and 3.5% respectively in the month.

Last month, Vinmonopolet announced a 3.4% rise in full-year sales for 2007, coming in at 71.1m litres. While Italian wine topped sales of red wine in Norway for the second year on the trot, Germany headed France in terms of white wine sales in 2007.

Vinmonopolet moved away from wholesale alcohol sales in 1996 to concentrate solely on retail in the company. The split came about to adhere to a European Economic Area agreement in 1994.