Blavod, the producer of the black vodka by the same name, has cut its pre-tax loss for the first half of 2002 to £458,000 from £492,000 in the same period in 2001. The producer said that whilst it is still too early to predict full year results with any certainty, if present trends continued it remained confident and sales remained in line with expectations so far in the present half.

Growth in traditional markets such as UK and duty free saw turnover leap to £634,000 from £275,000 last year.

And while the recession in Brazil had hit sales this had been more than offset by new markets such as Russia, Poland and former Soviet Union countries.