Despite the persistent coverage of surging off-premises spirits sales, distillers are hurting. The retail surge was not sufficient to compensate for on-premises (eg bar and restaurants) falling off a quarantine cliff early in 2020. Consider Campari’s recent report that year-to-date (YTD) for the nine months to the end of September 2020 clocked in at $1.52bn a drop of $1.54bn from the same period in 2019.
12.9% growth in the third quarter of 2020 (coinciding with the end of lockdown in many markets) was not enough to overcome dismal numbers in the first two quarters. A statement to investors attributed the net drop to the “active and challenging” effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After the first half being strongly penalized by the effect of Covid-19, our third quarter results showed an improvement, boosted in particular by a temporary staycation effect in many countries,” said said Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz in a statement.
“However, with the resurgence of the pandemic in many areas of the world towards the end of the third quarter, the overall scenario in the short-term remains highly uncertain. Nevertheless, our brands continue to experience strong consumption trends in the off-premise channel across key markets, confirming their solid underlying brand health.
Espolòn Tequila and Jamaican rums drove a 8.9% jump in Q3 sales across the Americas. However, the organic sales figures for the region were down 3.6%.
Italy, Campari’s home market, reported an 11.6% plummet in YTD sales. The drop spearheaded a net decrease of 14.2% across Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Yet, the region showed upside in Q3 with higher-margin apéritifs leading a 35.4% increase in sales.
North, Central and Eastern Europe reported a surge 11.3% led by Russia, the UK, and Germany. Australia propelled Asia Pacific to 5.5% jump, but the other nations in the region filed negative numbers for the period.