United Spirits, the division of Vijay Mallya's UB Group, has reported a 20% rise in volume sales for its fiscal full-year.

United Spirits said in a trading update today (14 April) that it sold 90m cases in the year to the end of March, compared to 75m during the previous 12 months.

The India-based drinks giant said that the rise shows that it has not been affected by the global economic downturn during its most recent fiscal year.

Vijay Mallya, the billionaire chairman of United Spirits parent firm UB Group, said: "We have exceeded our targets and created superior shareholder value. This is by no means a small feat in an economically turbulent environment.

"I attribute this to the iconic brands we have built which brought new consumers into our fold and further strengthened our base."

Last autumn, United Spirits entered talks with Diageo on a possible stake sale. Talks between Mallya and Diageo have continued into 2009, Diageo has confirmed, athough Mallya has been quoted in local media during the last month as saying that United Spirits is also speaking to three other potential suitors.

Mallya's UB Group is deep in debt, having made a number of high-profile purchases at the height of the credit boom.