Red Bull has posted a healthy lift in sales for 2008.

The Austria-based energy drink producer said earlier this week that its sales last year registered a 7.9% increase year-on-year, totalling EUR3.323bn (US$4.309bn). Sales volumes also rose, by 13.2% on 2007.

Besides the successful launch of Red Bull Cola, the company put the main reason behind the positive figures down to "excellent" sales in Red Bull's core market Europe (+12%), as well as in Red Bull's up-and-coming markets, the Far East (+79%), Canada (+50%), the Middle East (+31%) and South America (+26%).

The company said its market entry into France and the establishment of a distribution subsidiary in the country, as well as the sponsorship of Formula One Italy-based Toro Rosso team, were among the highlights of the past year.

"Despite the difficulties presented by the global economic downturn, our plans for growth and investment in the business year 2009 remain - typically for Red Bull - very ambitious, but continue to rest on an excellent and conservative financial footing," the company said in a statement.