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Aperol leads Gruppo Campari brand growth

Wild Turkey and Appleton Estate rum maker Gruppo Campari’s half-year net sales fell 1.8%, but fast-growing brand Aperol saw organic gains of almost 20%.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz is confident Gruppo Campari can deliver a positive and profitable performance in 2016

Net sales fell to €743.9 million in the first six months of the Italian drinks group’s financial year, impacted by a devaluation of “key group currencies” including the Argentine pesos and Brazilian real.

Net profit tumbled 13.8% to €67.2m “mainly due to the Grand Marnier transaction costs”.

Gruppo Campari reached an agreement to acquire the parent company of Grand Marnier liqueur, Société des Produits Marnier Lapostolle (SPML), in March this year, immediately acquiring 17.19% of the group, plus a further 2.6% from controlling family shareholders.

Campari, which expects to fully acquire SPML from the controlling family by 2021, will also be appointed the exclusive global distributor of the Grand Marnier spirits portfolio upon completion of the initial deal.

Organically, the firm’s ‘global priority’ brands grew 9.5% in the first half of 2016, driven by a “very good performance” Italy, Argentina and Jamaica, as well as Germany, US, France, Greece and the UK.

Aperol continued its strong momentum with 19.6% growth, bolstered by results in its core markets of Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium, as well as “strong progressions” in ‘high potential’ and ‘seedling’ markets, particularly the US.

Skyy Vodka achieved growth of 2.7%, however the brand’s Skyy Infusions line extensions suffered from “category weakness” in flavoured vodka.

Wild Turkey Bourbon registered organic growth of 2.5% thanks to results in its key US market, while Campari’s Jamaican rums – including Appleton Estate, J. Wray and Wray & Nephew Overproof – grew 7.9%.

“Looking at the remainder the year, the outlook shared at the beginning of the year remains broadly unchanged,” said Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo Campari.

“In particular, with reference to the macroeconomic environment, we expect that the volatility in some emerging markets and the uncertainty on the movements of group’s key foreign currencies will continue. At the same time, we remain confident to deliver a positive and profitable performance.

“With regards to the brand portfolio, we expect a continued growth of high-margin global priorities, particularly aperitifs, American whiskies and Jamaican rums, also thanks to a further strengthening of brand building investments in the second half of the year to fuel long term growth.”

For more on Kunze-Concewitz’s plans for Gruppo Campari, see our Big Interview feature in the August 2016 edition of The Spirits Business magazine, out soon.

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