Vinmonopolet’s ambition is to handle beverage sales responsibly, and in the best interests of both the individual and the society. (Photo: Ellen Jarli)

Vinmonopolet’s ambition is to handle beverage sales responsibly, and in the best interests of both the individual and the society. (Photo: Ellen Jarli)

English summary

Vinmonopolet is owned solely by the Norwegian State. The company’s main goal 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 1.9 per cent from 2011 to 79.9 million litres in 2012. The sales of table wine increased by 2.2 per cent to 65.7 million litres, while the sales of spirits decreased by 2 percent to 11.9 million litres. The figures for fortified wine shows 670 000 litres, down by 5.4 per cent. The overall increase in sales is due to various factors: 11 new outlets, high purchasing power, and a greater public interest for wine 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. We believe this to be 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 2012 Italy kept their leading position for red wine, followed by Spain and France. During the 1980s the registered sales of spirits were reduced by more than 50 per cent whilst the unregistered consumption of illegal spirits, such as moonshine liquor and smuggled spirits, increased. After two reductions in taxes on spirits, from 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2003, this trend changed. However, in 2010 Vinmonopolet’s sale of spirits decreased for the first time since 2004, and this trend has continued ever since. It is likely that this is due to an increase in the sales from tax-free shops and the Swedish Systembolaget’s shops near the Norwegian border.

Vinmonopolet’s sales revenue in 2012 total NOK 11 961.4 million excluding VAT. Net profit before tax is NOK 167.5 million compared to NOK 159.3 million the year before. Taxes amount to NOK 47.0 million. By decision of Stortinget (the Parliament), Vinmonopolet will pay a dividend of 50 per cent of the profit after tax to the state. This amounts to NOK 60.3 million. As of 31 December 2012, Vinmonopolet had 278 retail-outlets in operation with 1 805 full- and parttime employees, the equivalent of 675 full-time employees.