Vin & Sprit has posted higher quarterly profits on the back of "excellent" margin growth, the continued progress of its flagship Absolut brand and product innovation.

Operating profits rose to SEK677m (US$106m) in the third quarter up from SEK549m for the same period last year. Sales volumes increased by 9%, while group net sales were up 5% at SEK2.7bn.

Speaking to just-drinks today (31 October), V&S Absolut Spirits president Ketil Eriksen said: "It's very strong overall global growth; we have a very good momentum in Europe, following a strong year last year and we have seen the development continue. We have pretty strong growth in every focused market in which we operate."

Eriksen added: "Profits were up 30% and Absolut is the key driver, but we have splendid development on Cruzan and some of the minor brands in the portfolio. Key markets are Canada, Spain, Mexico, Germany, the UK, Sweden, global travel retail. We see further potential in all our markets."

V&S has credited "innovation" as the driver for Absolut's continued success attributing its growth to the launch of  line extensions such as its Absolut Pear and Absolut Orleans lines. The company said Absolut 100, which was originally produced exclusively for travel retail, was rolled out in the US last month, and will be launched in other markets next year.

Eriksen confirmed: "We will feed it to 100 top bars in the international market and in the second quarter of next year we will start a global roll-out."