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ITALY: Wine & spirit sales drive Campari profits

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Campari has reported a set of strong results for 2005, with rising sales across its wine and spirits divisions leading to a 9.1% rise in earnings.

Group sales totalled EUR809.9m (US$979.4m), an increase of 7.8% on an organic basis, the Italian drinks group said today (22 March).

External growth of 2.5% came from sales of third-party brands that Campari began distributing last year, including Jack Daniel's in Italy and Martin Miller's gin in the US). The increase in sales lead to a 9.1% rise in EBITDA to EUR201.3m. Net profit reached EUR118.0m, a rise of 21.8%.

Campari CEO Enzo Visone said: "In 2005, the group once again achieved extremely positive results. We remain confident for a positive performance in 2006 and, more generally, in the medium term."

The spirits segment, which represents 68.1% of total sales, recorded growth of 11.9%. Sales of the Campari brand grew by 5.8% thanks to positive performances in major European markets. Sales of SKYY Vodka rose by 8.9%, thanks to a positive performance in both the US and international markets.

Campari's wine division, which accounts for 15.5% of total sales, recorded growth of 3.6%, resulting from organic growth of 3.7% and a negative exchange rate effect of 0.1%. The positive performance of the business was driven by sales of Cinzano vermouth, which grew by 16% at constant exchange rates, thanks to a good showing in major European markets. Soft drink sales, however, dipped almost 2%, due to a slump in Lipton Ice Tea sales.

By region, sales in Italy, which account for almost half of Campari's sales, recorded an increase of 4.9% in 2005. Sales in Europe grew by 6.9%, thanks to the strong performance in major European markets of strategic importance, including Germany. The US market posted organic growth of 7.7%, while sales in Brazil rose by 8.7% at constant exchange rates.

Sales to Campari's markets in the rest of the world were up 13%, boosted in particular by growth in Australia and New Zealand.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Spirits, Wine

Companies: Campari, SKYY Vodka

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