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Campari First Half Sales Down 11% As Italians Drink Fewer Aperitifs

Sales at drinks group Campari fell 11.3% on a like-for-like basis in the first half as the coronavirus crisis hit southern Europe and its home market in Italy, although the stock was lifted by better-than-expected results elsewhere.

In Italy, high-margin aperitifs brands registered a strong negative performance in the the peak season of April and June, due to the lockdown that shut restaurants and bars.

'Gradual Recovery'

'This was only partly mitigated by a gradual recovery in late June as consumers began to return to bars with outdoor spaces,' the Campari owner said.

Spirits consumption in North, Central and Eastern Europe, however, rose on a like-for-like basis and sales in the United States were less negative than expected, boosting the stock.

First-Half Performance

Like-for-like sales, which strip out currency swings and any acquisitions or sales of assets, came in at €769 million ($900 million) in the first half, with aperitif brands particularly penalised.

Sales of Aperol fell 11.6%, while Campari was down 10.6% year-on-year in the first half.

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) excluding one-off items fell 31% to €130.4 million. EBIT margin on sales, an indicator for profitability, came in at 17% down from 21.3% in the same period last year.

Chief executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz said the group would continue a long term strategy looking at possible acquisitions, focusing on boosting online sales through platforms like its newly acquired e-commerce Tannico and reinforcing the strength of its own brands.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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