Russian Standard Expects Sales to Soar

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Russian Standard Vodka expects sales to rise as much as 50 percent this year as it expands to new markets.

Russian Standard plans to start selling in Canada "in the next month or two," billionaire owner Roustam Tariko said in an interview Wednesday.

The distiller sells its vodkas in 60 countries, spokesman Preston Mendenhall said.

Tariko said the company is considering buying more brands from competitors. "Two such deals are in the pipeline," he added, without elaborating.

"That's not something we have done before, but there are now several very attractive brands up for sale," he said.

The distiller is more interested in buying Russian brands rather than Western ones, Tariko said.

Russian Standard plans to invest $100 million this year in distribution and marketing and began sales of Aurora vodka, its fifth brand, in the first quarter.