Duty free sales of wines and spirits remained robust in 2002, despite some catastrophic hits being taken by the world's travel industry, still reeling from the effects of September 11.

Figures released by market analysts the Moodie Report show that in 2002, duty free sales of wines and spirits advanced by 4.4%, reaching more than US$3.8 billion.

Moodie says that European sales performed particularly well (up 9.6% to US$1.6 billion), impressive considering the significant negative effect of the abolition of intra-EU duty free sales in 1999, which wiped out US$1 billion in sales.

Duty free wine and spirit purchases in the Americas remained largely static, while Asian sales dropped by 0.4% because of a decline in the super-premium market.