Systembolaget has seen sales at its stores rise slightly in the first five months of this year.

The Swedish alcohol retailing monopoly said yesterday (12 June) that sales, measured in pure alcohol, from January to May were up by 4.8% on the corresponding period a year earlier, coming in at 14.3m litres.

While wine and strong beer - the only type of beer Systembolaget sells - increasing sales in the period by 5% (56.8m litres) and 6.8% (70.8m) respectively, spirits sales were flat, rising by only 0.8% to 7m litres. For the month of May, meanwhile, spirits dipped by 0.9%.

Cider was the only sector which registered a fall in sales, of 2.4%.