Vinmonopolet has posted a slight lift in sales for the first six months of this year.

The Norwegian alcohol retailing monopoly said earlier this week that sales at its stores rose by 2.6% between January and June, compared to the corresponding period a year earlier, reaching 33.8m litres.

While beer sales led the field, increasing by 6.1% to 0.2m litres, table wine and spirits also registered growth, of 3% to 27.5m litres and of 1.7% to 5.6m litres respectively.

In the month of June, however, total sales fell by 8.3% to 6.3m litres, with only beer registering a slight increase - up 0.6% to 0.04m litres. Table wine sales dropped by 8.1% in the month to 5.2m litres, with spirits sales sliding by 8.8% to 1m litres.

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.