By Tracey Barker

New Zealand premium vodka producer 42Below - named after its southern hemisphere location 42 degrees below the equator - is considering funding expansion by floating on the NZ stock market.

Managing director Geoff Ross said the company was investigating capital raising options as it currently faced enormous opportunities in overseas markets, particularly America where it was negotiating a range of distribution contracts for its super premium vodka and gin.

"The question is how we best fund this expansion, and position ourselves for growth," said Ross, who attributed the company's remarkable progress to the successful branding of a top quality product, and targeting premium niche markets.

Claiming 30% of domestic super premium vodka sales, Ross said this focus had fuelled a dramatic rise in business over the past year.

The company was formed in 1996 but has only been in full commercial production for one year following a four year developmental phase.