Brown-Forman has applauded its staff for helping produce another record year.

Speaking at yesterday's (27 July) annual shareholders meeting, the US drinks company's chairman, Owsley Brown II, said: "Our success this past year is a testament to the strength we've developed for our brands and to the incredible efforts of our employees and many fine business partners around the world."

The company was applauding the results, announced last month, which saw operating income for the year to 30 April surge 17% to US$102.6m. Sales for the period were also up, by 16% to US$594.3m.

"Brown-Forman's long-term perspective, premium brands, and quality people consistently produce results that deliver superior returns to our shareholders," added company CEO Paul Varga at the meeting.

Also at the meeting, three new directors were elected to the board - Sandra Frazier, Martin S. Brown, Jr., and Geo. Garvin Brown IV. The three are the first members of the family's fifth generation to join the company's board. They succeed fourth-generation family members who have retired.

The directors also approved a quarterly dividend payment of US$0.28 per share on Class A and Class B Common Stock. Stockholders of record on 7 September will receive the cash dividend on 1 October.