US: Brown-Forman posts healthy H1 as margins improve
- Six-month net profits up by 16% to US$320.5m
- H1 net sales rise by 2% to $1.89bn
- Operating profits jump by 12% to $484m
- Jack Daniel’s brands net sales up by 9%
Brown-Forman released its H1 results today
Brown-Forman has posted a double-digit increase in H1 net profits as volumes gains and price increases saw it raise its full-year outlook.
Net profits in the six months to the end of October jumped by 16% to US$320.5m, the Kentucky-based spirits and wine group said today (5 December). Net sales increased by 2% to $1.89bn over the same period, while operating profits increased by 12% to $484m.
The numbers mirrored the group's Q1, when net profits rose by 25% in the three months to the end of July and net sales increased by 4%. Operating profits increased by 19%.
Most Brown-Forman brands saw sales rise in the first-half, with the core Jack Daniel's range recording a 9% increase, the company said.
Finlandia’s 9% rise in net sales was driven by Russia, while premiumisation trends also helped super and ultra-premium whiskey brands, such as Gentleman Jack and Woodford Reserve, grow net sales by 21% in the first half.
Global sales of Southern Comfort fell by 5% as demand faltered in the UK and Australia, Brown-Forman said.
The US continued to to drive the company, contributing 40% of its sales growth.
However, net sales in Western Europe, including the UK and France, were down low-single digits, with ongoing economic weakness expected to “remain challenging”, the company said.
Travel Retail delivered 9% net sales growth, driven by “successful innovation, new product launches, and price increases”.
The strong overall results led to Brown-Forman raising its full-year operating profits expectations to low double-digit growth, adding: “While there continues to be uncertainty in the global economy going into the important holiday selling season, the company continues to expect high single-digit growth in underlying sales.”
The company did not release a breakdown of its second-quarter results.
To read the company's official statement, click here.
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