Campari toasts strong start to 2022 as Europe embraces aperitivo hour
The strong recovery of the European on-trade – and particularly Europeans’ thirst for ‘high-margin’ aperitifs – have provided Campari with a strong start to the year, it has reported.
The Italian drinks brand announced net sales of €534.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, up 34.4% on a reported basis, with organic growth of 29.4% compared to the same period last year. This also compares favourably to the pre-pandemic results of 2019, up 43.7% the first quarter 2019.
The adjusted EBITDA rose 53.7% on a reported basis to €134.7 million, with organic growth of 46.5% compared to the first quarter of 2021, or 52.5% up on the first quarter of 2019. Group profits (before tax) were up 65.1% to €107.0 million, it said, with net financial debt being recorded at €834.6 million – broadly unchanged compared to the end of December 2021.
Chief executive officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz said the positive performance, which was due to continuing underlying momentum and strong on-premise recovery in Europe, had been “amplified by phasing and easy comparison bases in a low seasonality quarter” and the team remained confident that this momentum would continue.
However he flagged up that the overall performance would reflect the effects of a gradual “normalisation” of shipments due to phasing, different comparison bases throughout the rest of the year and the conflict in Ukraine.
“Concomitantly, volatility and uncertainty remain due to the ongoing pandemic and geopolitical tensions. 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,” he said.
Sales in the Americas – which make up almost half (46%) of total group sales also rose 14.9%, with performance in its largest market, the US, being driven by Espolòn, Wild Turkey, Aperol, Campari and Cabo Wabo. Meanwhile Canada grew 9.4% and Jamaica registered strong growth (20.1%), with Brazil, Mexico and Argentina also growing by double digits.
Performance was particularly strong in Southern Europe, up 61%. This was driven by Italy, which saw gains of 70.2%, driven driven by the strong recovery in the on-trade channel, along with phasing and an easy comparison base. Aperol was a particularly strong performer, up 101.4%, along with Campari (118.7%), Campari Soda (+24.8%) and Crodino (+75.6%). Global travel rettail also recovered, up 50.2% as travel restriction continued to ease.
Northern, Central and Eastern Europe – which makes up 17% of total Group sales, grew organically by +33.2%, with the UK growth of 26.6% mainly driven by Aperol and Magnum Tonic.
There was also growth in the smaller Asia Pacific region, which grew organically by 18.4%. However, although some markets in the region registered a very positive result (50.0%), notably South Korea (105.7%), China saw a flat market, due to repeated Covid-related lockdowns.