Cinzano boosts Campari wine division

Cinzano boosts Campari wine division

Gruppo Campari has become the latest international wine and spirits firm to report a sales rebound in the first quarter of 2010.

Net sales for the three months to the end of March reached EUR233.6m (US$296.6m), up by 23% on EUR190m in the same period of 2009, Campari said today (13 May). Sales increased by by 14.5% when the contribution of currency and newly acquired Wild Turkey Bourbon are excluded.

"Our performance in the first quarter of 2010 was very positive with significant growth across all key indicators, which enabled us to considerably increase our marketing investments without negatively impacting margins," said group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

Fellow wine and spirits firms Diageo and Pernod Ricard have also reported rebounding sales in the first three months of calendar 2010, compared to heavy destocking by distributors in 2009 during the height of the global economic crisis.

Campari operating profits rose by 22% for the quarter, to EUR51.8m versus EUR42.6m last year. Pre-tax profits rose by nearly 13% to EUR51.8m.

"Whilst results were helped by a return to a more normal trading patterns across the Americas as well as by the effects of the Wild Turkey acquisition, our overall performance continued to be mostly impacted by strong consumption momentum across key brand and market combinations, especially in our core aperitif business in Europe," said Kunze-Concewitz.

Sales to the Americas rose by 66.5% in the quarter, with 23.5% due to Wild Turkey.

"Looking forward, we think that continued volatility might impact trading across quarters but remain cautiously optimistic about our full year prospects," said Kunze-Concewitz.

The Campari brand, Skyy in North America, Aperol in Italy and, to a lesser extent, GlenGrant Scotch whisky, helped to drive spirits sales up 33% for the quarter.

The firm's wine division, which represented around a tenth of total sales, reported sales up by 7%, largely driven by Cinzano Sparkling Wines.

Soft drinks was the blackspot in Campari's quarter, with sales down 6% due to a weak performance from its soda and mineral waters, as well as Crodino. 

For the full announcement, click here.