Polish spirts company, Wyborowa SA (formerly Polmos Poznan), part of the Pernod Ricard group, posted a PLN104.09m net loss for 2001, which was attributed principally to the high costs associated with social payments to employees as part of its 2001 privatisation.

The company said that the employee payouts cost the company in excess of PLN 80m.

The distiller, which includes the well-known Wyborowa brand in its portfolio, said it expects improvement in its financial situation in 2002. "Despite difficulties and restructuring actions in 2001, forecasts allow us to assume significant improvement in the company's result in 2002," the company said.

The company said it plans to increase its capital by PLN 28.98m this year. Pernod Ricard, which owns 80% of the company, has said it plans to gain 10% of the Polish vodka market in the next five years through the Wyborowa brand.

According to the 2001 privatisation agreement, Pernod Ricard is to invest PLN 25m in five years in modernization and development of the Wyborowa brand.