Campari Gains Most Since 2009 as Aperol, Wild Turkey Soar

  • Distiller’s shares leap as first-quarter sales beat estimates
  • Aperol revenue gains 18% as demand for Spritz cocktails grows

The surging popularity of Aperol Spritz provided a tonic to first-quarter sales at Italian distiller Davide Campari-Milano SpA, sending the shares soaring to a record.

Sales of Aperol, a bitter orange liqueur mixed with soda water and Italy’s Prosecco sparkling wine in Spritz cocktails, jumped 18 percent in the quarter, Milan-based Campari said Tuesday. That helped group revenue race past estimates.

An Italian institution, the Aperol Spritz has become internationally popular in recent years, helped by Campari’s increased marketing. The liqueur is a global partner of English soccer giant Manchester United under a three-year contract that will conclude at the end of this season. Campari has also invested to reinvigorate brands such as Wild Turkey bourbon, where sales rose 24 percent in the quarter after the debut of a new advertising campaign spearheaded by Texan actor Matthew McConaughey.

The stock rose 4.4 percent to 5.78 euros at the close of trading in Milan, paring a gain of as much as 11 percent, the steepest intraday gain since October 2008.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Kunze-Concewitz said in a phone interview that Aperol will find other marketing platforms once its partnership with Manchester United comes to an end. The tie-up with the Premier League team was very successful, he said.

Grand Marnier

Campari will update investors in the fourth quarter on its strategy for Grand Marnier, the liqueur it bought for $760 million last year in its largest deal, Kunze-Concewitz said.

Part of that deal saw the company gain Villa Les Cedres, a property on France’s Mediterranean coast that the CEO has previously said may be worth at least 300 million euros ($330 million). The property, which is being sold by real-estate agent Savills, has been visited by many potential buyers, he said.

“It’s an absolutely unique place for its size, for its location,” Kunze-Concewitz said. “It has an incredible treasure of exotic plants you can only find there.”

Revenue on a so-called organic basis excluding currency shifts gained 5.7 percent to 377 million euros ($411 million), more than double the median estimate of 2.8 percent growth compiled by Bloomberg.

Campari is confident of delivering a positive performance for the full year in revenue and profit, Kunze-Concewitz said.

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