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Campari Posts Brisk Start To 2017, With U.S. Sales Up 7.5%

May 9, 2017

Campari has revealed a strong set of numbers for its fiscal first quarter ended in March, with U.S. sales up 7.5%. The U.S., Gruppo Campari’s largest market with a 30% share of the business, was especially buoyant for the Wild Turkey (net sales up 22%), Aperol (+74%) and Campari (+30%) brands during the quarter.

On the more challenging side, the company noted that Skyy vodka “continues to be affected by a very competitive environment and weakness in the flavored vodka category.” Campari added that marketing support for Skyy was shifted into the second quarter, ahead of the brand’s new “Make. Every Day.” campaign.

While the strong results were achieved against a tough comparison base from the same period last year, when U.S. sales were up 15%, Campari said it benefited from a first-quarter “shipment catch-up after destocking in Q4 2016 ahead of route-to-market changes.” In late January, Campari extended its alignment with distributor Southern Glazer’s to 40 states, shifting from RNDC in 14 markets as of March 1.

According to Impact Databank, Skyy was down 1% to 2.8 million cases in the U.S. in 2016, and new addition Grand Marnier was flat at 490,000 cases. However, Wild Turkey (+4% to 635,000 cases), Espolon Tequila (+38% to 200,000 cases), Campari (+7% to 110,000 cases) and Aperol (+36% to 67,000 cases) were all on the rise for the full year. Campari ranks as one of the top dozen U.S. spirits suppliers with yearly sales of nearly 6 million cases overall.

In February, Campari bolstered its portfolio with the acquisition of super-premium Bulldog gin ($26 a 750-ml.) for about $58 million. That deal followed Campari’s addition of Grand Marnier ($40) to its stable last summer, augmenting its already extensive presence in upscale liqueurs with another prestigious brand.

Globally, Gruppo Campari’s sales rose 6% organically to €377 million ($410m) during the first quarter, while EBITDA grew 2.6% to €79 million ($86m).—Daniel Marsteller

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