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Campari plans new bars to help whet aperitif appetites

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A barman is seen near bottles of spirits at the Camparino bar in Milan, Italy July 12, 2021. Picture taken July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/

By Francesca Landini and Silvia Aloisi

MILAN (Reuters) – Campari plans to open several flagship bars for its best-selling spirits in Europe and beyond to help tap into a taste for the Italian aperitif culture, its chief executive said.

The drinks group last week reported higher sales in the first three months of the year thanks to soaring demand for its Aperol and Campari bitters as bars and restaurants reopened in Europe.

Even if the group’s drinks sold well for home consumption during the pandemic, serving a well-crafted cocktail remains one of the best ways to win new customers, Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said.

“When it comes to aperitifs, the magic is made in bars, mixing,” he said in a meeting with a small group of journalists.

“In the next five years we would like to have Camparino (bars) in London, New York, Singapore,” he said, unveiling plans to export the model of Milan’s historic outlet for its red bitter, the key ingredient of the Negroni cocktail.

He did not put a price on the planned investment.

Campari is facing more competition on its home turf after a new Spritz cocktail was launched in Italy on Thursday by LVMH’s Moet Hennessy.

The Chandon Garden Spritz, a premium ready-to-drink version of the aperitif which bets on the appeal of its natural ingredients and lower sugar content, was unveiled in France and northern European countries last year and is now landing in Italy, Spain, Britain and Asia.

Sales of sparkling wine are growing three times faster than those of still wine, said Sibylle Scherer, president of Moet Hennessy’s Maison Chandon.

Premium sparkling wines costing more than 12 euros a bottle, of which Chandon is the market leader, represent a segment worth 4.4 billion euros in sales, she said.

“We want to win the hearts of Italians, both in bars and at home, in a country that loves Spritz,” she told Reuters in Milan, presenting a cocktail made from sparkling wine from Argentina, an orange-bitter liqueur, orange peel, herbs and spices. At 8-10 euros per glass it is pricier than average cocktails in Italy.

Despite competing on aperitifs, Campari and Moet clinched an alliance to develop an e-commerce platform for wine and spirits last year around Italy’s online wines and spirits company Tannico, which will sell both versions of the Spritz.

BRAND IDENTITY

Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffè, Professor at Milan’s SDA Bocconi management school, said Campari’s plans for new bars was “consistent with the need of many brands to get closer to end-consumers by offering not only products but distinctive experience contexts that reinforce brand identity.”

He pointed that these initiatives could also allow groups to collect precise data on consumption patterns and better understand their customers.

The Italian group bought back the Camparino bar in Milan’s central square for 5.6 million euros in 2018 and spent a further 6.5 million euros to eliminate the debt accumulated by the outlet and upgrade it.

In 2020 Campari paid 4.2 million euros to secure a space in Venice where the following year it opened Terrazza (Terrace) Aperol in the city where the aperitif became famous as the base for the traditional Spritz cocktail.

“Last year we opened the first Terrazza Aperol in Venice… and that will become a franchisee. The idea is to have 50-100 (terraces) in the world,” Kunze-Concewitz said, without giving a precise time-frame.

Stock Markets

Dow Futures Tick Higher as Major Indices Rebound

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By Oliver Gray 

Investing.com – U.S. stock futures moved modestly higher on Tuesday evening after major benchmark indices rebounded from recent losses during regular trade, however, traders remain cautious of a potential recession after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted at a Wall Street Journal conference on Tuesday that “there won’t be any hesitation” about raising rates until inflation is under control.

By 6:45pm ET (10:45pm GMT) Dow Jones Futures and Nasdaq 100 Futures were up 0.1% apiece while S&P 500 Futures gained 0.2%.

In extended deals, QualTek Services Inc (NASDAQ:QTEK) popped 23.1% after reporting Q1 losses of 20 cents per share, beating expectations of a 48 cents loss, while revenue came in at $148.2 million versus $137.51 million expected.

Corporacion America Airports (NYSE:CAAP) lifted 0.2% after reporting Q1 EPS of $0.16 versus x expected on revenues of $258.1 million versus $226.74 million expected.

QuickLogic Corporation (NASDAQ:QUIK) fell 6% after report Q1 losses of 6 cents per share versus losses of 7 cents expected. Revenue for the quarter came in at $4.1 million versus estimates of $4 million.

Agilysys Inc (NASDAQ:AGYS) gained 11.3% after reporting Q4 EPS of 24 cents, beating estimates of 17 cents, with revenues coming in at $46.6 million versus estimates of $43.78 million.

Corporate earnings are set to continue on Wednesday, with Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) and Lowe’s Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) reporting results before the opening bell. Ahead in the week, investors will be monitoring fresh data for housing starts and building permits due out Friday morning.

During Tuesday’s trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 431.17 points, or 1.34%, to 32,654.59, the S&P 500 added 2% to 4,088.85 and the NASDAQ Composite added 2.76% to 11,984.52.

Major financial players were boosted after Warren Buffett’s conglomerate revealed it added a nearly $3 billon stake in Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) during the first quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc (NYSE:CFG) gained 3.7% JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) added 3.3%, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) lifted 3.4% and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) gained 3.8%.

Travel related companies popped after United Airlines raised its revenue outlook for the second quarter on improved consumer demand. JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ:JBLU) lifted 8.2%, Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE:DAL) gained 6.7%, American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) added 7.7% and United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) lifted 7.9%.

On the bond markets, United States 10-Year yields were at 2.995%.

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Glass Lewis backs McDonald’s directors in boardroom fight with Carl Icahn

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign with the logo is on display near a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, Russia May 16, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

2/2

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis on Tuesday recommended McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) investors vote for the company’s directors, dealing a setback to billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s efforts to replace two directors.

“The Dissident (Icahn) has failed to make a sufficiently compelling case to warrant the boardroom changes it is seeking here,” Glass Lewis wrote in the report seen by Reuters.

A representative for Icahn did not immediately have a comment.

The report came one day after Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis’ larger rival, also recommended that shareholders back the company’s nominees. McDonald’s shareholders will meet on May 26.

Icahn nominated candidates to the fast-food restaurant’s board to hold the company accountable for pledges it made a decade ago on sourcing pork.

McDonald’s says it has worked to change its pork sourcing. But it is behind schedule on a plan to stop buying pork from suppliers that confine pigs in small crates during pregnancy. Both ISS and Glass Lewis say Icahn has raised awareness for animal rights.

“We acknowledge (Icahn’s) efforts to seek improvements to animal welfare conditions is a worthy and noble endeavor,” Glass Lewis wrote. But the advisory firm also criticized Icahn, saying he had taken a “decidedly simplistic and myopic view of ESG concerns, with no substantive regard given to the economics of the Company’s business nor to the creation of shareholder value.”

McDonald’s said Icahn’s two nominees lack the broader expertise needed to serve on the company’s board. Glass Lewis wrote that Icahn’s candidates “lack the requisite background, qualifications and experience for serving on the board of a large multinational firm” like McDonald’s.

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China Eastern crash probe eyes intentional action – sources

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Rescue workers work at the site where a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane flying from Kunming to Guangzhou crashed, in Wuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China March 24, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Investigators probing the crash of a China Eastern Airlines (NYSE:CEA) jet are examining whether it was due to intentional action taken on the flight deck, with no evidence so far of a technical malfunction, two people briefed on the matter said.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Tuesday that flight data from one the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737-800’s black boxes indicated that someone in the cockpit intentionally crashed the plane, citing people familiar with U.S. officials’ preliminary assessment.

Boeing Co , the maker of the jet, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) declined to comment and referred questions to Chinese regulators.

The Boeing 737-800, en route from Kunming to Guangzhou, crashed on March 21 in the mountains of Guangxi, after a sudden plunge from cruising altitude, killing all 123 passengers and nine crew members aboard.

It was mainland China’s deadliest aviation disaster in 28 years.

The pilots did not respond to repeated calls from air traffic controllers and nearby planes during the rapid descent, authorities have said.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China said on April 11 in response to rumours on the internet of a deliberate crash that the speculation had “gravely misled the public” and “interfered with the accident investigation work.”

China Eastern could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal said the airline had said in a statement that no evidence had emerged that could determine whether or not there were any problems with the accident aircraft. The Chinese Embassy declined to comment.

The 737-800 is a widely flown predecessor to Boeing’s 737 MAX but does not have the systems that have been linked to fatal 737-MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that led to a lengthy grounding of the MAX.

China Eastern grounded its entire fleet of 737-800 planes after the crash, but resumed flights in mid-April in a move widely seen at the time as ruling out any immediate new safety concern over Boeing’s previous and still most widely used model.

In a summary of an unpublished preliminary crash report last month, Chinese regulators did not point to any technical recommendations on the 737-800, which has been in service since 1997 with a strong safety record, according to experts.

NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy said in a May 10 Reuters interview that board investigators and Boeing had traveled to China to assist the Chinese investigation. She noted that the investigation to date had not found any safety issues that would require any urgent actions.

Homendy said if the board has any safety concerns it will “issue urgent safety recommendations.”

The NTSB assisted Chinese investigators with the review of black boxes at its U.S. lab in Washington.

Shares of Boeing closed up 6.5%.

A final report into the causes could take two years or more to compile, Chinese officials have said. Analysts say most crashes are caused by a cocktail of human and technical factors.

Deliberate crashes are exceptionally rare. Experts noted the latest hypothesis left open whether the action stemmed from one pilot acting alone or the result of a struggle or intrusion but sources stressed nothing has been confirmed.

In March 2015, a Germanwings co-pilot deliberately flew an Airbus A320 into a French mountainside, killing all 150 on board.

French investigators found the 27-year-old was suffering from a suspected “psychotic depressive episode,” concealed from his employer. They later called for better mental health guidelines and stronger peer support groups for pilots.

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