Stronger ABSOLUT sales call for higher capacity

Stronger ABSOLUT sales call for higher capacity To meet the high demand for ABSOLUT, V&S Group is investing SEK 360 million in a new bottling plant in Åhus. The plant will be a separate satellite facility approximately 3 km from the existing plant, and will be finished in 2007. ABSOLUT is continuing to achieve success. In 2003, shipments of ABSOLUT from Åhus harbor increased by 8 percent to 72.5 million liters. Production is increasingly differentiated with new flavors and bottle types, such as the new super premium vodka, Level. This places demands on higher capacity. Expansion potential in central Åhus has already been fully exploited, so a new facility outside the town center is necessary. "To begin with we will install one bottling line in the new satellite facility, although it is prepared for a further line," says Krister Asplund, manager of the V&S plant in Åhus. "We will also need to refit the existing plant in central Åhus in a few years, so we will need bottling resources at another location in the meantime." The new plant will primarily be used for bottling ABSOLUT VODKA and ABSOLUT CITRON in the most common bottle sizes. This latest investment totals in the region of SEK 360 million. In recent years investments of an equivalent size have also been made in the distillation plant in Nöbbelöv. That expansion will be in full production in 2005. Further information Director Corporate Communications, Marika Hjelm-Siegwald, V&S Absolut Spirits. Phone +46 (0)8-744 7402, +46 (0)70-377 7402 Senior Vice President Communications, Margareta Nyström, V&S Group. Phone +46 (0)8-744 7198, +46 (0)70-698 7198 V&S Group is a Swedish-owned corporation with extensive international operations. The V&S product portfolio includes both own brands for local, regional and international sales, as well as agency products. The Group has operations in 12 countries and worldwide distribution in about 125 markets. The biggest brand is ABSOLUT, the third biggest premium spirits brand in the world. The Group has approximately 2,200 employees and sales in 2003 amounted to SEK 9,300 million. V&S Absolut Spirits is a business area within V&S Group that produces, markets and owns the rights to the ABSOLUT, DANZKA Vodka, FRÏS Vodka, Level and Plymouth Gin brands. ABSOLUT is sold in 126 markets and is the third biggest international spirits brand in the world. The head office is in Stockholm, Sweden. ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2004/02/23/20040223BIT00470/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2004/02/23/20040223BIT00470/wkr0002.pdf

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V&S Group is a leading producer and distributor of spirits and wine in Northern Europe, and one of the world’s ten largest international spirits companies. The product portfolio includes own brands for local, regional and international sales, as well as agency products. The Group has operations in 10 countries and worldwide distribution on 126 markets. The most important brand is ABSOLUT, the fourth largest international premium spirits brand in the world. The Group has approximately 2,100 employees and sales in 2007 amounted to SEK 10.3 billion.

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