UPDATE 1-Campari's Italian sales fall flat despite long hot summer
(recasts to adds CEO comments, share reaction, details)
By Francesca Landini and Maria Pia Quaglia
MILAN Nov 11 (Reuters) - Italy's Campari, the world's sixth-largest premium spirits maker, reported weaker-than-expected nine-month sales after a sluggish performance at home and falling consumption in emerging markets such as Russia.
The company, whose brands include the red and orange aperitifs Camparisoda and Crodino, faced competition from newly popular beverages such as handcrafted beers. It reported a slight fall in its sales in Italy, despite a long hot summer that would usually lift demand.
Chief Executive Bob Kunze-Concewitz told analysts in a conference call that a lack of new products and marketing initiatives had weighed on its sales at home, a market in decline and which Campari depends upon for a quarter of its revenue.
"Italy recorded slightly negative sales because single-serve aperitifs did not go well," he said.
Shares in the Milan-based group, which reached an all-time-high of 8.18 euros just before the results, were up 0.6 percent at 8 euros by 1543 GMT.
The maker of the red aperitif said on Wednesday that total turnover rose 7.9 percent to 1.14 billion euros ($1.23 billion) in the first nine months, with a large part of the increase due to positive currency effects.
In the three months through September, like-for-like sales excluding forex effects rose 2 percent, half the rate expected by analysts. Continuación...