SWEDEN: Vin & Sprit celebrates record year for Absolut

By | 31 January 2008

Vin & Sprit is toasting a record year for its Absolut Spirits division in 2007.

The spirits unit said today (31 January) that turnover last year rose by 3% on 2006, with profit from the division increasing by 6% year-on-year to SEK2.02bn (US$316.1m). Last year saw the unit's Absolut vodka brand set a new sales record, with volumes climbing by 9% to 96.6m litres.

In the US, the biggest single market for Absolut vodka, sales broke the 5m nine-litre case barrier for the first time, with sales to the trade rising by 4% on 2006. Outside of the US, volumes performed well, particularly in Europe, the unit said. The UK produced growth of 50%, while Spain registered a volume increase of 37%.

The division hailed the success of its 'In an Absolut World', global advertising campaign, which launched last year. The addition of Absolut Pears, Absolut 100 and the limited edition Absolut New Orleans also helped drive sales northward, V&S noted.

The division's Cruzan rum brand delivered a 19% lift in volume sales, thanks primarily to the US.

"We focus on around ten key markets, work innovatively with the product portfolio and marketing and invest in the brand in the long term," said division president Ketil Eriksen. "Our consistent strategy, combined with tough cost control, has made possible both a good profit and much increased market investments."

Vin & Sprit has been put on the for sale table by its owners, the Swedish government. The sale, which has attracted the interest of Bacardi, Diageo, Fortune Brands and Pernod Ricard, should complete in the first half of this year.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Absolut, Bacardi, Diageo, Fortune Brands, Pernod, Ricard

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