Hungarian drinks group, Zwack Unicum Rt, posted an 11% drop in pre-tax profit to HFL2.42 billion ($8.45 million) for 2001.

Gross sales at the company, known for its distinctively packaged bitters brand, Unicum, rose by 11.2% to HFL25.09 billion, but a 16.9% increase in excise tax paid restricted net revenues to HFL16.5 billion, representing an 8.5% increase on the 2000 net sales figure of HFL15.22 billion.

CEO Gyorgy Retfalvi said that IAS pre-tax profit was 1.38% ahead of forecasts.

Also on the plus side, export sales at Zwack rose by 114.6% to HFL813 million, around 3.2% of total sales. The company's top three export markets are Italy, Germany and the US but the biggest export growth came from former Yugoslavia, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Retfalvi said.