In spite of an 18% decline in turnover in 2001, one of Lithuania's largest vodka producers, Vilniaus Degtine, is forecasting net profits of around Ltas 1.4 million litas (EUR 0.4 million) on sales of Ltas31.125 million for 2002. The company predicted that its spirits sales would increase by 32.6% to 4 million litres.

Turnover in 2001 totalled Ltas 25.669 million, an 18% decline from the previous year at the company which is 82% owned by the Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry with the rest of shares held by more than 300 private investors.

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian brewer, Vilniaus Tauras, owned by the Danish Brewery Group, increased turnover in 2001 by some 36.9% to Ltas 53.5 million (EUR 15.2 million). The company said profit figures were not yet available but the company, which recorded a loss of Ltas2.41 million in 2000, had posted a pre-tax profit of Ltas3.387 million for the first nine months of 2001, a three-fold improvement on the last year.

With sales volumes of 29.7 million litres in 2001, Vilniaus Tauras's share of the domestic beer market is put at 13.4% making it the country's third largest brewing concern.