Campari has today (11 September) posted an increase in first-half profits thanks to sales from its recently-acquired Scotch whisky portfolio.

The Italian wine and spirits group saw operating profit rise 2.8% to EUR85.9m (US$109.2m) during the first half of the year. Net sales rose 14.8% to EUR417.8m, boosted largely by Campari's spirits business, which saw sales jump by almost 20.6%.

Campari's Scotch whiskies Glen Grant, Old Smuggler and Braemar drove the leap in spirits sales. The company bought the three brands from Pernod Ricard in March for EUR115m after the EU ordered the French drinks giant to offload the labels following its takeover of Allied Domecq.

On an organic basis, Campari saw spirits revenues rise just 3.7% as sales of its namesake aperitif fell 4.6%. The company blamed the fall on its decision to hold back stocks ahead of the launch of new packaging for the brand.

Campari also saw its new distribution agreements contribute to the rise in earnings. Campari handles Jack Daniel's in Italy and C&C Group spirits portfolio in the US. The company credited the deals with driving growth from its overall spirits business.

Campari's Skyy vodka brand saw sales leap 18% thanks to strong global growth, the company said.

The company's wine business posted a 3.9% increase in sales thanks to its recently-acquired Teruzzi & Puthod label.

Campari added that the performance of its soft drinks business, which operates almost entirely in Italy, was mixed. The company holds the local licence to Lipton ice tea, which saw sales inch up 1.4%. Sales of carbonated soft drinks, however, dipped 3.4%.