Vin & Spritcentralen is the Swedish state owned former monopoly, founded in 1917 to control alcohol production and import. V&S kept that monopoly until Sweden's entry in the European Union 1995.

V&S still exists under the name "V&S Vin & Sprit AB", and produces the bulk of Swedish spirits, of which Absolut is the most famous.

Year 2000 V&S had a turnover of SEK 5.8 billion (∼USD 550M), and the net profit before taxes was SEK 1.4 billion (∼USD 120M). Currently the company is employing around 1800 people, but are now aiming at world domination, or at least international expansion.

On ironic thing is that they are profiting from selling alcohol, while their owner (the Swedish government) really want people to drink as little as possible. But of course, buying doesn't necessarily mean that you have to drink the stuff...

Funnily enough the actual selling of the alcohol to the public is by their biggest customer, still a monopoly, called "Systembolaget".