Estonia-based spirits company AS Liviko has increased its sales and market share in the Estonian alcohol market, boosted by successful imports.

In the first half of 2009, AS Liviko increased its market share of imported alcohol by 64% and its sales by 3%, which the company said today (23 July) came against a backdrop of a 30% drop the overall sales of "imported strong alcohol" in Estonia for the period.

According to a report from the Association of Estonian Alcohol Producers, the company achieved a "notable" increase, above all, in the category of imported wines and sparkling wines.

During the six month-period, Liviko's sales of wine brands Carmen increased by 27%, Spier by 13%, Freixenet by 18%, and Cinzano sparkling wine by 105%.

"Against the background of a 30% decrease in Estonian import of strong quality alcohol, the total 43% growth in Liviko's import of such brandies as Camus and Jules Gautret is especially remarkable,"said Janek Kalvi, Liviko's chairman. "AS Liviko has gained credit as a competent importer who works hard with the brands in its portfolio, making them popular and successful in the market."

In the last 12 months, Liviko added a number of brands to its portfolio including Cognac Camus, Duboeuf, Caceres, Chateau Sainte Michelle and Champagne Deutz wineries.

Last month, Liviko posted a 42% lift in net profits for 2008 to EEK71.8m (US$6.4m). Net sales rose by nearly 32% to reach EEK1.84bn.