Campari rescues ‘poor’ start to 2013

Gruppo Campari has bounced back from a weak start to 2013, describing its first half results as being “in line with expectations.”

CampariThe Italian-based drinks company, which owns brands including Campari, Cinzano, Wild Turkey, Skyy and Appleton, reported a first half organic sales decline of -3.3% on sales of €698.6 million.

However, this performance was mitigated by second quarter organic growth of 1.4%, following what the firm admitted was a “poor” start to the year caused primarily by “one-off” de-stocking worth €25 million in its native Italian market.

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Gruppo, attributed this second quarter uplift to “sustained growth in North America, Russia and Argentina as well as the stabilization or improvement of trends in other developed markets,” especially Italy and Germany.

He also pointed to the “positive performance in core North America and New Zealand” of the Appleton rum brand, whose parent company Lascelles deMercado was acquired by Gruppo Campari at the end of 2012.

In Europe, excluding the Italian market, the group saw organic sales grow by 4.6%, thanks to a “positive” performance from Germany, the UK and France, although Spain’s struggling economy tempered this picture.

Despite a major European advertising push behind its Aperol aperitif brand, Gruppo Campari reported an organic sales decline of -10%, which it blamed partly on “very poor weather conditions” across Europe during the second quarter.

Looking to the year ahead, Kunze-Concewitz predicted: “Whilst the Group’s overall trading environment should remain volatile due to macroeconomic difficulties in key markets, we expect the business to continue improving gradually over the second half of 2013, driven by sustained brand building across key brand-market combinations and the strengthening resonance of the brand portfolio in new geographies.”

The results come as Campari prepares to release its famed annual calendar for 2014, which features Hollywood actress Uma Thurman.

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