Davide Campari-Milano has posted a healthy rise in pre-tax profit for Q1. The Italian drinks group yesterday registered a pre-tax profit of €18.6m (US$22m), an increase of 21.6% year-on-year.

Sales for the quarter rose by 11.9% hitting €151.3m. The group credited the rise to the consolidation of the newly-acquired Barbero 1891 S.p.A. and to a good performance from its existing business, despite the ongoing impact of negative exchange rate movements.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of the company increased by 9.7% to €34.8m, while the earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) stood at €21.6m, a 1.3% year-on-year increase.

The spirits segment, which accounted for 64.5% of total sales, recorded a positive performance of 10.6%, determined by organic growth of 3.3%, external growth of 12.6% and a negative exchange rate effect of 5.3%.

The Campari brand posted growth of 9% at constant exchange rates (+6.6% at actual exchange rates). Positive performances in Brazil, Japan and other major European markets more than offset the contraction of sales in Italy and in Germany (due to a different phasing in advertising and promotion activities).

Sales of SKYY Vodka, including flavours, fell by 5.3% in local currency terms. This result was generated entirely on the US market, as a result of too optimistic expectations of wholesalers on consumption levels during the Christmas season.

The wines segment (13.2% of total sales) posted growth of 29.5%. Organic growth (+20.5%) was helped by a jump in sales of Cinzano sparkling wines (+18.4% at constant exchange rates) due to a good performance on the Italian and German markets, and of Cinzano vermouth (+18.7% at constant exchange rates), following growth on its most important European markets, including Russia. Wines were also boosted by a good performance from Sella & Mosca (+5.3%) and Riccadonna. External growth (+10.6%) was almost entirely due to Barbero 1891 S.p.A., particularly the Mondoro and Enrico Serafino brands.

Sales of soft drinks accounted for 20.9% of the total, and were generated almost entirely on the Italian market. This segment posted growth of 5.5% thanks to a good performance from all brands, especially Crodino (+7.8%), Lemonsoda, Oransoda and Pelmosoda (+2.9%) and Lipton Ice Tea (+4.5%).