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Alko’s sales volume down, but last year's profit up

The state alcohol monopoly was able to boost its profits last year as customers increasingly bought more expensive products.

Alkon kyltti
Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Finland’s state-owned liquor store Alko said on Friday that its sales by volume dropped 7 percent during the first two months of this year as more customers bought their milder alcoholic drinks at the grocery store.

New legislation that came into effect on 1 January allows supermarkets to sell beverages such as beer, cider and long drinks containing up to 5.5 percent alcohol.

Altogether, Alko sold 93 million litres of alcoholic beverages for 1.17 billion euros (including taxes) last year.

Despite sales volumes falling slightly from 2016, Alko was able to increase profits by 10 percent to 53 million euros last year. This was due to a growth in sales of more expensive products, it said.

According to Alko’s chief executive Leena Laitinen, the higher turnover shows that customers continue to be interested in food and drink trends.

"Customers want to invest in quality and special moments," she said.

Alko said it will upgrade its selection and services based on customer feedback and open four new stores this year, three in the Helsinki region and one in Tampere.

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