• Full-year net profits leap by 88% to US$917m, thanks to Fortune Brands spin-off
  • Net sales for 2011 rise by 10.3% to $2.31bn
  • Operating profits dip by 13.3% to $395.5m
  • Innovation the buzz-word for 2012
Beam Inc is upbeat about the future, following the release of its FY results today

Beam Inc is upbeat about the future, following the release of its FY results today

Beam Inc has said that it expects more sales and profits gains in its first full-year as an independent company, after reporting a strong overall performance in 2011. 

Net sales for the 12 months to the end of December increased by 10% to US$2.31bn, Beam said today (3 February). However, the pace of growth slowed to 1% in the fourth quarter, when sales hit $637.5m.      

In 2012, the Jim Beam and Maker's Mark distiller said that it is relishing the prospect of its first full-year as a standalone entity, following its split from Fortune Brands in October. "As we enter 2012, we’re encouraged by our continued marketplace momentum," said Beam's president and CEO, Matt Shattock.    

"We expect our global spirits market to continue to grow value in the range of 3%, supported by solid growth in mature markets such as the US and double-digit growth in key emerging markets." Strong worldwide demand for Bourbon and a "robust" innovation pipeline are likely to be key sales drivers over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, the group forecast that 2012 operating profits will increase at a faster pace than net sales. Underlying earnings per share should rise by a high single-digit percentage, it said.

In 2011, net profits rocketed by 88% on the previous year, to US$917m, thanks to a one-off $782m gain related to the firm's spin-off from Fortune Brands. In contrast, operating profits fell by 13% due to higher marketing costs and one-off charges.

However, based on Beam's continuing operations, net profits for the year rose by 13% to $334m, with operating profits up by 3.6% to $572.2m. 

In the fourth quarter, operating profits fell by 2.8% on a reported basis, to $136m, with net profits up by 7.5% to $94.1m. "Beam finished 2011 with a very good fourth quarter that was a bit above our expectations," said Shattock. 

Based on continuing operations, Beam's fourth-quarter operating profits rose by 3.7% to $172.6m, with net profits up by 11% to $109m. Net sales from continuing operations increased by 4% for the three months.

For the company's official release, click here.