Campari to expand J Wray & Nephew portfolio in UK

BY STEVEN JACKSON Business reporter

Friday, November 14, 2014

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J Wray & Nephew UK Limited (JWN) will expand its distribution portfolio to include spirits from its Italian parent, Campari group, the company has indicated in its latest financials.

The move is aimed at strengthening revenue in that market and comes amid a fall in net sales in Jamaica over nine months in real terms based mainly on currency movements.

"As of 1 March 2015, Gruppo Campari will transfer the distribution of the Campari, Aperol and Wild Turkey brands to its fully owned subsidiary J Wray & Nephew UK Ltd, currently in charge for the distribution of Appleton rum portfolio," stated Campari in its financials released on Wednesday. "The additional focus on the own portfolio combined with the opportunity to leverage the JWN UK platform will help Gruppo Campari develop its UK business and reach a critical mass to allow the strengthening of the group's existing distribution capabilities and the implementation of a fully fledged in-market company, in line with its global strategy for all key markets," added Campari.

Campari acquired the Jamaica operations (Lascelles deMercado) in December 2012 for US$409 million from Trinidad-based majority shareholder CL Financial, and local shareholders.

In September 2012, details of the acquisition indicated that Campari would nearly double its workforce from 2,300 to 4,300.

The net sales from Jamaica surpassed J$11.1 billion (74.6 million euro) over nine months ending September 2014, but dipped some 22.9 per cent year-on-year due mainly to currency movements.

It meant that rums sold locally, led by the flagship Appleton brand, contributed 7.0 per cent of total sales to Campari group's 1 billion euro total sales over nine months ending September. The island contributed 9.0 per cent of total net sales a year earlier. Most of the currency depreciation occurred during the first six months of the year. Contrastingly, the third-quarter net sales (July to September) actually increased 2.1 per cent year-on-year reflecting a more stable dollar.

"Sales declined organically by 6.1 per cent with third-quarter positive [growth] of 2.1 per cent," Campari said in relation to its Jamaica operations.

The local currency lost nearly 13 per cent of its value over the review period, with the Euro averaging $149 to J$1.

Earlier in its financial year, the Campari group via its local subsidiary terminated a distribution arrangement for Kimberly-Clark products, which included household names Kleenex, Scott, and Huggies. In February, distributor T Geddes Grant announced that it acquired the Kimberly-Clark portfolio, which became its largest portfolio to date.

Gruppo Campari says it will, staring March 1, 2015, transfer the distribution of the Campari, Aperol and Wild Turkey brands to its fully owned subsidiary J Wray & Nephew UK Ltd.

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