Italy's Campari, the world's sixth-largest premium spirits maker, reported an 8% rise in its first-half sales on an organic basis to €848.2 million, helped by a strong performance in North America.
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose to €180.3 million ($200.9 million) in the first half, equal to 21.3% of sales, marking a margin improvement compared with the same period last year.
The group's light aperitif Aperol, which has become the company's best selling drink, reported a 22% growth in sales on an organic basis between January and June.
Performance In Europe
North, Central, and Eastern Europe accounted for 19.5% of the total group sales and saw a 7.0% growth in organic sales with positive performance in Germany (+3.9%), the UK (+13.8%) and Russia (+10.9%).
The performance was largely driven by double-digit growth of Aperol across the region, Campari said in its statement.
'Positive Business Momentum'
Commenting on the results, chief executive, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, said, "After a very strong start to the year, our positive business momentum continued in the second quarter 2019, the peak season for aperitifs, helped by the late Easter effect, despite the tough comparable base as well as the poor weather in May across Europe.
"Key underlying profitability indicators grew ahead of organic sales development, thanks to a very positive sales mix, which more than offset the dilutive impact of the emerging markets recovery and the adverse effect of the agave purchase price, whose growing trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year," he added.
The company said it remains fairly balanced in terms of risks and opportunities.
Kunze-Concewitz explained, "The positive business momentum is expected to continue, with persisting volatility of emerging markets in their key seasonality period.
"We remain confident in delivering a positive performance across all key underlying business indicators," he added.
The company also expects to continue reinvestments in brand building and sales capabilities initiatives in the second half.