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Campari Up Sharply In First Quarter, Driven By Tequila, Bourbon, And Liqueur Brands

May 7, 2019

Campari Group’s organic sales grew by 11.2% in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019, bolstered by double-digit growth from Grand Marnier, Wild Turkey, Aperol, Campari, and Espolòn. Compared with the first three months of 2018, Campari is now well positioned to continue seeing gains for the remainder of the year, particularly from growth categories including Tequila, American whiskies, and bitter liqueurs. The U.S. market represents 31.2% of Campari Group’s global sales.

Since acquiring Grand Marnier in 2016, Campari has invested in the brand by boosting advertising and rolling out new extensions, most recently debuting the Cuvée Louis Alexandre, a $70, high-Cognac variant on the core liqueur brand. For Q1 2019, Grand Marnier’s shipments are phasing ahead of depletions, according to the company.

Espolòn Tequila also continues to thrive, with volume rising nearly 33% to 392,000 cases in the U.S. market for calendar 2018, according to Impact Databank. Wild Turkey, meanwhile, sustained growth mode, rising 7.1% last year to 705,000 cases in the U.S., capping a four-year growth run in which it has expanded by an aggregate 20%. Among Campari Group’s liqueur brands, Campari was up 15% to 140,000 cases in calendar 2018, while Aperol rose 60% to 160,000 cases. Skyy, however, continues to struggle, declining by mid-single digits as the company continued to carry out a destocking plan. Campari noted that the decline continued “despite gradually closing the gap to more favorable consumption trends.” Recently Campari launched a new Skyy flavor, Cold Brew Coffee, to help boost the brand.

Globally, Campari Group reported €370.1 million ($413.9m) in sales, representing growth of 9.6% organically and 10.1% on a reported basis when exchange rates are taken into account. EBIT was up 18.5% over first quarter 2018, rising to €72.4 million ($81m). “We achieved a very strong start to the year, driven by a combination of strong momentum in the key global markets and regional priorities in core developed markets,” said Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz. “Looking toward the full year, the outlook remains fairly balanced in terms of risks and opportunities.”—Shane English

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