Italy's Campari beat like-for-like sales expectations in the first quarter, helped by growing spirits consumption in the United States and northern Europe.
Sales in Italy were suffering only marginally from pandemic-related restrictions on bars and restaurants in the quarter, the company said.
'Good Brand Momentum'
"Overall we had a very solid and satisfactory start to the year with good brand momentum, driven by sustained home consumption," Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said on Tuesday.
The maker of Aperol aperitif and Campari bitter reported sales of €398 million ($477.8 million) in the quarter.
That was up 17.9% year on year on an organic basis, stripping out currency swings and acquisitions or asset disposals, against analyst expectations of 6-7% .
Adjusted operating profit jumped 43% year on year to 68.5 million euros.
Shares in the beverage group were up 4.3% at 10:20 GMT, outperforming a flat Milan blue-chip index.
In the United States, Campari's biggest market, sales of the group's Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey showed a 31% first-quarter increase.
SKYY vodka and Grand Marnier liqueur also boosted growth thanks to a brand relaunch for SKYY and advance shipments of Grand Marnier in the United States.
But aperitif brands, Campari's traditional engine of growth before the COVID-19 pandemic, turned in a subdued performance.
Aperol's sales were largely flat, hit by weakness in the United States and lockdowns affecting consumption outside homes.
Kunze-Concewitz said, “Looking at the remainder of the year, in addition to a marginally worsening exchange rates outlook, volatility and uncertainty remain due to the ongoing restrictions and the timing of the vaccine roll out in the European Union, affecting the on-premise channel as well as Global Travel Retail.”
The company expects the positive brand momentum to continue due to sustained marketing investments and added that it is likely to accelerate with the peak aperitif season, gradual reopening of the on-premise channel as well as e-commerce momentum.