Gruppo Campari has said that it is upbeat on its medium-term prospects after strong sales and profits growth in the first nine months of 2010.

Italy-based Gruppo Campari today (11 November) reported a 14% rise in net sales for the nine months to the end of September, to EUR794.9m (US$1.1bn). Like-for-like sales, excluding exchange rate gains, rose by 11% on the same period of 2009. The increase indicates a slightly faster pace of growth in the third quarter, with like-for-like sales up by around 9% in the first half of the year.

Pre-tax profits for the nine-month period rose by 17% to EUR156.3m, including a 4% gain from favourable exchange rates. EBITDA rose by 15% to EUR202.2m.

Campari's CEO, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, said: "Our performance in the first nine months of 2010 was very positive with significant growth across all key indicators. We are optimistic about our full-year and medium-term prospects."

Campari brand sales rose by 12% for the nine months. The group's Skyy business in the US increased sales by 8%, althgou half of this was due to currency. The standout performers were the group's Brazilian brands and Aperol, which increased sales at constant exchange rates by 31% and nearyl 37% respectively.

The firm's wines division increased sales by 2%, although sales fell by almost 1% if exchange rate gains are stripped away. Soft drinks sales fell by 3%, although recovered to a 2% rise in the third quarter, Campari said.