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Campari Quarterly Sales Boosted By European Aperitif Demand

Italian drinks group Campari said on Tuesday sales jumped in the first three months of the year thanks to strong demand for its aperitifs as drinkers returned to bars in Europe.

Revenue came in at €535 million ($561 million) in the first quarter, up 29% on a like-for-like basis, more than double the increase pencilled in by analysts.

Shares in Campari were up 3.4% at 1015 GMT, outperforming a 1% gain posted by Milan's main index. .

Sales of Aperol, which is the group's best-selling product and the key ingredient for the Spritz cocktail, rose 72% in the period boosted by strong consumption in Italy in particular.

Hospitality Industry Reopening 

The reopening of bars and restaurants in Campari's home country also helped Campari bitter, whose sales were up 57% between January and March, and non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino, which was up 67%.

Outside Italy, the drinks group reported strong sales growth also in Germany and France, while the North American market experienced less buoyant expansion.

The company said it had reduced its activity in Russia to a minimum level after the invasion of Ukraine.

The positive performance was amplified by an easy comparison with the beginning of 2021 when consumption had been hit by restrictions on bars and restaurants due to the pandemic.

Price Increases 

The Milan-based group is keeping its guidance for the rest of the year and said that it would increase the price of its beverages to compensate for rising costs.

"We confirm our guidance of flat organic EBIT margin in 2022 as we will leverage adequate price increases and positive mix to mitigate the expected intensification of the inflationary pressure on input costs," Bob Kunze-Concewitz, chief executive said in a statement.

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 59% on a like-for-like basis to €114 million and the profitability improved as indicated by an EBIT margin of 21.4% compared with 17.2% in the first quarter last year.

News by Reuters, edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more Drinks stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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