Italian drinks firm Campari Group saw organic sales grow by 9.6% in the first quarter of 2019, boosted by the double-digit growth of Aperol.
Total group sales grew to reach €370.1 million (US$414.6m) with “strong” organic sales growth “despite the late Easter effect”. The growth was attributed to double-digit gains from key global and regional priority brands in core developed markets, as well as “recovery” in emerging markets.
Geographically, the Americas posted an organic growth of 13.1%. The US grew double digits to 11.2%, bolstered by the double-digit growth of Grand Marnier liqueur, the Wild Turkey Bourbon portfolio, Aperol, Campari, Espolòn Tequila and the Jamaican rum range.
Sales in southern Europe, Middle East and Africa grew by 6.4% with a “very solid” performance from Italy (6.4%).
North, central and Eastern Europe sales were up by 11.6% with “very satisfactory results” from Germany.
Sales in Asia Pacific registered a decline of 3.1%. Australia fell by 2.3%, while Japan dropped by double digits “due to a very tough comparison base” of 140.3% growth in Q1 last year. The Chinese market grew by double digits.
The group’s global priority brands’ sales grew organically by 12.6%. Aperol “continued to outperform” with an increase of 26.8%, boosted by double-digit growth in core markets – Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland – and “very strong growth” in the US, Russia, UK, Australia, Spain, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and global travel retail.
Campari “continued its positive momentum”, up 9.2% with “solid growth” in the brand’s key market Italy and double-digit growth in the US, Jamaica, Brazil and Nigeria. However, Campari’s performance was “slightly hindered due to a price repositioning in Germany”.
Grand Marnier increased sales by 10% boosted by the US and Canada.
Wild Turkey Bourbon, including American Honey, grew by 10% driven by the US and the “very positive trend in the premium variants” such as Longbranch.
Sales of Skyy vodka grew by 0.7% with “improving trends” from the US. The brand witnessed a shipment decline of 4.6% due to destocking.
Jamaican rums, including Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew Overproof, grew by 10%. Wray & Nephew Overproof increased by 15.3% boosted by the US. Appleton Estate increased sales by 8.4%, with “continued positive trends” in core markets Jamaica, the US, Canada and global travel retail.
The company’s regional priority brands grew by 16%, with Espolòn up by 22.7%, as the US “continued to grow by sustained double digits”, increasing by 20%.
“We achieved a very strong start of the year driven by the combination of both a strong momentum of the key global and regional priorities in core developed markets, despite the late Easter, and the recovery in emerging markets, largely against an easy comparison base in a small quarter,” said CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz.
“Looking into the full year, the outlook remains fairly balanced in terms of risks and opportunities, and unchanged against the previous announcement.
“We remain confident in achieving a positive performance across key underlying business indicators, driven by the continued outperformance of the high-margin global and regional priorities in the core developed markets.”
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