One of Russia's leading vodka producers Kristall distillery increased its vodka sales by 29.2% in the first 11 months of 2000 from the same period a year before.

The period saw output increase from 59.9 million litres in January to November 1999 to 77.5m litres in 2000. Meanwhile sales increased from 7.6m litres to 10.43m litres, according to the Russian information service Interfax.

For the entire year 2000 the distillery hopes to produce more than 85m litres against 67.86m in 1999. The growth of sales outside of its home market of Moscow have been credited with much of the increase.

Regions other than Moscow now account for 20-25% of sales, while in 1999 this figure stood at 10%. The company said that it expects this trend to increase into 2001.