Vinmonopolets chief aim is to be an efficient and service minded chain of specialty shops throughout the country. (Foto: Mette Randem)

Vinmonopolets chief aim is to be an efficient and service minded chain of specialty shops throughout the country. (Foto: Mette Randem)

English summary

Vinmonopolet is owned solely by the Norwegian State. The company’s chief aim is to be an efficient and service minded chain of specialty shops, managing the exclusive right to sell wine, spirits and strong beer via retail outlets throughout Norway.

Vinmonopolet has a social policy, but no private profit interests as the ambition is to handle beverage sales responsibly, and in the best interests of both the individual and the community.

Sales volumes rose by 0.6 per cent from 2010 to 78.4 million litres in 2011. The sales of table wine increased by 1.3 per cent to 64.2 million litres, while the sales of spirits decreased by 4.0 percent to 12.0 million litres. The figures for fortified wine show 708 000 litres, down by 9.7 per cent. The overall increase in sales is due to various factors: 8 new outlets, high purchasing power as well as a greater public interest for wine and food all contribute considerably to the sales. The continued preference for red wine compared to white distinguishes the Norwegian demand for table wine from the tendency seen in other countries. In Norway the ratio is 3:1 in favour of red wine, compared to 1:1 in UK and 3:2 in Sweden. This is mainly due to climatic factors. In many parts of Norway, during most of the year, it’s «too cold» to drink white wine. Thus, we see that the sales of white wine peaks in July, whilst the sales of red wine peaks in December. Whilst white wine is most popular in the southernmost parts of Norway, red wine is most popular in the north. In 2011 Italy kept their leading position for red wine, followed by Spain and France. Since 1980 the registered sales of spirits has been reduced by more than 50 per cent whilst the unregistered consumption of illegal spirits – such as moonshine liquor, smuggled spirits and tax-free products - has increased. After two reductions in taxes on spirits, from 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2003, this trend seems to have changed. However, in 2011 Vinmonopolet’s sale of spirits decreased.

Vinmonopolet’s sales revenue in 2011 total NOK 11 590.7 million excluding VAT. Profit before tax came to NOK 159,3 million compared to NOK 211.6 million the year before. The special tax levied on Vinmonopolet in lieu of ordinary corporation tax is NOK 37,1 million. By decision of Stortinget (the Parliament), Vinmonopolet will pay a dividend of 50 per cent of the profit after the special tax to the state. This amounts to NOK 61.1 million. As of 31 December 2011, Vinmonopolet had 267 outlets in operation with 1 815 full- and parttime employees, the equivalent of  1 130 full-time employees.