Davide Campari-Milano has reported a slight lift in profits for what it called a "satisfactory" start to the year so far.

The drinks group said today (8 November) that operating profit for the first nine months of the year was up by just 3% year-on-year at EUR128.8m (US$189.2m) while net sales lifted by 2.8%, reaching EUR644.6bn.

Profit before tax saw a lift of only 1.5% standing at EUR115.5m compared to EUR113.7m for the same nine-month period last year.

Sales in Europe grew by 15%, due to positive performances from markets such as Germany and Russia, while the spirits segment, including brands such as Glen Grant, Old Smuggler and the newly-acquired X-Rated, recorded a growth of 5.6%. This increase offset the negative impact of the announced termination of the Lipton Ice Tea distribution contract on the Italian market, the company noted.

The Campari brand posted growth of 2.3% and Skyy vodka sales rose by 14.5% due to "a very positive performance on both the US and international markets".

The wines segment grew 15% driven by Cinzano vermouth and Cinzano sparkling wines, the company said.

Davide Campari-Milano CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: "In the first nine months of 2007 we achieved satisfactory results, maintaining the positive momentum across our brands and markets."