Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Absolut enjoys sales increase of 13%

Published:  23 July, 2008

By Ron Emler
Sales of Absolut, the third-biggest brand of vodka, rose by 13% to just under $600 million in the first nine months of 2006. This helped Vin & Sprit, the Swedish alcohol monopoly, to report an 18% rise in operating profit in the same period. Overall sales across all brands rose by 3% to 18.3 million cases.

To keep pace with demand for Absolut, the company has increased the number of shifts at its main vodka production unit at Ahus to three from the normal two, as well as introducing Saturday working. In addition, the plant was kept open during the traditional summer shutdown.

The strong demand for the Absolut vodka range is being watched closely by the world's largest drinks companies, because the brand is seen as a prize target in the next round of industry consolidation.

Sweden's new centre-right government has committed itself to a programme of selling off state-controlled companies. The first round is likely to comprise those businesses with existing stock market listings, so Absolut may not be privatised for another two or three years.

Already, however, analysts have put a price tag on it of between $3.7 billion and $4.8 billion and Pernod Ricard, the world's second-biggest spirits group, has said that it would be obliged to consider bidding for the brand when it became available.