Booming Aperol sales continue to drive growth for Campari Australia.
Half-year results show Campari Australia registered organic growth of 3.5%, with acceleration of 9.3% in the second quarter. This was led by Aperol growth of 26%, plus positive results for SKYY, Campari and Wild Turkey ready-to-drink and bourbon.
“We’re growing twice as fast as the market across categories, so taking share,” said CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz. “Again, Aperol is doing very nicely, and we’re doing also pretty well in the Wild Turkey brand, both on the ready-to-drink as well as on the bourbon, with the premiumisation helping marginality.”
The Asia Pacific market saw organic sales grow 1.1%, due to a double-digit decline in Japan and a slight decline in New Zealand, largely against tough comparison bases.
The company said this was mitigated by growth in China (+17.5%) thanks to Cinzano sparkling wine and SKYY Vodka.
Sales of Aperol now account for one fifth of the group’s total revenue and rose by 22% globally.
Aside from the 26% surge in Australia, the brand also saw strong double-digit growth in the US, France, the UK, Russia, Canada, GTR, Scandinavia and South America.
The result comes as the Aperol brand celebrates its 100th birthday.
Launched in 1919 at the Padua International Fair, Aperol was created by the Barbieri brothers, Luigi and Silvio, who coined the name ‘Aperol’, having taken inspiration from the French term for apéritif, ‘Apéro‘.
Wild Turkey bourbon, Russell’s reserve, American Honey also enjoyed double-digit growth globally, thanks to growth in the core US (+15.1%) and Australian markets, with a continued positive contribution from premium variant Longbranch.
Kunze-Concewitz noted that in the bourbon ready-to-drink category in Australia, Wild Turkey was “taking market share and accelerating”.
Overall, Campari Group reported sales of €848.2 million and organic growth of 8%.
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.
“Reinvestments in brand building and sales capabilities initiatives are also expected to continue in the second half.”
Campari noted that overheads increased by 9.1% at organic level in Asia Pacific in HY19, “mainly due to the strengthening of the sales structure in Australia”.