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Campari full-year sales rise as Skyy declines

Bright orange apéritif Aperol helped Campari Group record organic sales growth of 5.3% in 2018, however the Italian firm’s flagship vodka brand Skyy continued to decline.

Aperol was once again the star performer of Campari Group’s full-year sales

On a reported basis, sales fell by 2.4% to €1.71 billion (US$1.93bn) after the exchange rate and perimeter effects.

Gross net profit for the year increased by 7.5% organically and 1.6% reportedly to €1.02bn (US$1.15bn).

Campari Group’s global priority brands increased by 8.9% organically, led by Aperol which grew by 28.1%.

Aperol was driven by “continued solid growth” in its core markets – Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and “strong double-digit growth” in high potential and seeding markets including the US, the UK, Spain, France, global travel retail (GTR), Australia, Eastern European and Scandinavian markets, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Campari grew by 5.1% organically driven by the Italian market and double-digit growth in the US, Germany, the UK, Russia, Nigeria, Canada and Jamaica.

Skyy vodka was the only global priority brand to decline, falling by 8.1% due to “weakness” in the US following destocking and “continued strong competitive pressure and reduced innovations in infusions”.

Wild Turkey Bourbon and Wild Turkey Honey grew by 7%, driven by the US, Australia and Japan.

Grand Marnier liqueur increased by 5.3%, profiting from a new marketing campaign and a “redefined drinking strategy”.

The Jamaican rums range – including Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew Overproof – grew by 8.3%.

Campari’s ‘Regional Priority’ brands grew by 2.8% overall last year. Espolòn Tequila was up 26.1%, thanks to “strong double-digit growth” in the US (+30.6%).

Bulldog grew by 7.2% boosted by the UK, Germany, Italy and Portugal, while Glen Grant whisky fell by 5.7%. Forty Creek Canadian whisky grew by 8.5%.

Regional performance

Geographically, sales in the Americas grew organically by 3.9%, with North America growing by 4.4%.

Sales in Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa witnessed an organic growth of 4.9%.

North, Central and Eastern Europe sales saw an organic change of +6.2%,

Asia Pacific experienced a double-digit organic growth of 12.9%.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive officer, said: “We achieved a solid performance across all key indicators in terms of organic growth and margin expansion in full-year 2018, consistently delivering on long-term strategy.

“Looking ahead into 2019, our outlook remains fairly balanced in terms of risks and opportunities as uncertainty around macroeconomic instability and currency volatility, particularly in emerging markets, remain.

“We expect the current underlying business performance to keep its momentum, while we continue facing headwinds from agave purchase price hike.

“Nevertheless, we remain confident in achieving a positive performance across the key underlying business indicators in 2019, driven by the continued outperformance of the high-margin global and regional priority brands in key developed markets.”

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