Campari Beats Expectations Thanks To U.S. Spirits Demand
Italy's Campari beat like-for-like sales expectations in the first quarter, helped by growing spirits consumption in the United States and northern Europe.
Sales in Italy were suffering only marginally from pandemic-related restrictions on bars and restaurants in the quarter, the company said.
"Overall we had a very solid and satisfactory start to the year with good brand momentum, driven by sustained home consumption," Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said on Tuesday.
The maker of Aperol aperitif and Campari bitter reported sales of €398 million ($477.8 million) in the quarter. That was up 17.9% year on year on an organic basis, stripping out currency swings and acquisitions or asset disposals, against analyst expectations of 6-7%.
Adjusted operating profit jumped 43% year on year to €68.5 million.
Shares in the beverage group were up 4.3% at 1020 GMT, outperforming a flat Milan blue-chip index.
In the United States, Campari's biggest market, sales of the group's Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey showed a 31% first-quarter increase.
SKYY vodka and Grand Marnier liqueur also boosted growth thanks to a brand relaunch for SKYY and advance shipments of Grand Marnier in the United States.
But aperitif brands, Campari's traditional engine of growth before the COVID-19 pandemic, turned in a subdued performance. Aperol's sales were largely flat, hit by weakness in the United States and lockdowns affecting consumption outside homes.