The Swedish state-owned alcoholic beverages group Vin & Sprit (V&S) announced yesterday that sales of its flagship brand Absolut leapt 15% last year 5.07 billion crowns (US$601.9 million).

Volumes are estimated by the industry to be in the region of 7.5m nine-litre cases.

Absolut is the second largest selling premium vodka behind Diageo's Smirnoff, Number three is Stolichnaya.