Italian drinks group Campari saw sales jump in the first three months of the year on the back of strong demand for its aperitifs as drinkers returned to bars in Europe.
Revenue came in at €535 million in the first quarter, up 29% on a like-for-like basis, more than double the increase pencilled in by analysts.
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Sales of Aperol, which is the group's best-selling product and the key ingredient for the Spritz cocktail, rose 72% in the period, boosted by strong consumption in Italy in particular.
The reopening of bars and restaurants in Campari's home country also helped Campari bitter, whose sales were up 57% between January and March, and non-alcoholic aperitif Crodino, which was up 67%.
Outside Italy, the drinks group reported strong sales growth also in Germany and France, while the North American market experienced less buoyant expansion.
The company said it had reduced its activity in Russia to a minimum level after the invasion of Ukraine.
The positive performance was amplified by an easy comparison with the beginning of 2021 when consumption had been hit by restrictions on bars and restaurants due to the pandemic.
The Milan-based group is keeping its guidance for the rest of the year and said that it would increase the price of its beverages to compensate for rising costs.
"We confirm our guidance of flat organic EBIT margin in 2022 as we will leverage adequate price increases and positive mix to mitigate the expected intensification of the inflationary pressure on input costs," chief executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in a statement.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 59% on a like-for-like basis to €114 million and profitability improved, as indicated by an EBIT margin of 21.4% compared with 17.2% in the first quarter last year.
News by Reuters, edited by by ESM – your source for the latest drinks news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.