Systembolaget has reported a slight lift in alcohol sales in its stores in the year so far.

The Swedish state-owned alcohol retail monopoly said late last week that sales, measured in pure alcohol, increased in the six months to the end of June by 2.3% on the corresponding period a year earlier, to 19.7m litres.

Company CEO Anitra Steen was cited in local reports as saying that sales were stable and growing slightly in the half-year.

Sales of strong beer, the only type of beer Systembolaget sells, were up by 3% to 102.6m litres, with wine sales rising by 3.3% to 78.5m litres. Spirits sales, however, slipped by 0.8% to 8.9m litres.

Earlier this year, the retailer said sales in the first three months of this year rose by 2.6% year-on-year. Steen noted to local press at the time that developments going forwards were expected to be "unstable".