MOSCOW, April 5 Russian vodka firm Synergy
said on Friday that first-quarter sales of its own
brands fell by 30 percent after an increase in excise tax
prompted retailers to bring purchases forward to the previous
Russia has been tightening regulation of alcohol sales to
curb drinking, with measures including an increase in the
minimum vodka price, a ban on advertising in all media and tax
The excise tax on spirits has risen by about a third,
prompting distributors and retailers to buy additional volumes
in the fourth quarter before the increase came into force at the
beginning of 2013.
Synergy, maker of Beluga and Russky Lyod vodka brands, said
sales of its own products amounted to 1.9 million decilitres in
the January-to-March period, compared to 2.7 million in the same
period of 2012.
Chief Executive Alexander Mechetin said he was cautiously
optimistic that sales would rise in full-year 2013.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Megan Davies and Tom