Recession-weary Italians raised a few more glasses of Campari's trademark red aperitif in the first three months of the year, helping the group to post a 2.8 per cent rise in underlying sales.
Gruppo Campari's sales in Italy, which accounts for more than a third of total revenues, had disappointed investors in the final quarter of 2011, falling 1.6 per cent as the eurozone debt crisis depressed consumption in the eurozone's third largest economy.
"Importantly, the business confirmed its resiliency in Italy and Germany, gained momentum in the US and continued to perform very strongly in... Australia, Argentina and Mexico," thechief executive, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, said.
"We remain cautiously optimistic for the full year," he added.
The Milan-based group, which also makes Aperol bitter aperitif drinks, Skyy vodka and Glen Grant and Wild Turkey whiskies, reported €279m (£222m) in first-quarter sales. Pre-tax profits increased 4.6 per cent to €52.8m.