Brown-Forman has posted rising sales and profits during its first quarter to 31 July.

The US company, which also said yesterday (30 August) that it is considering selling its leather goods division Hartmann, saw sales for the three-month period rise 17% to US$639.7m. Earnings from continuing operations, meanwhile, rose less impressively, by 7% to US$93.8m.

The group credited volume growth and margin improvement of its premium global portfolio, led by Jack Daniel's whiskey, for the strong performance. Global depletions for Jack Daniel's grew at a mid-single digit rate in the quarter, the company noted.

Moving forward, Brown-Forman maintained a full-year earnings outlook of between US$3.10 and US$3.30 per share, representing growth of 7% to 14%.

"Despite the favourable impact of foreign exchange," Brown-Forman said, "the company has not changed its outlook for the remainder of this fiscal year given the uncertainty surrounding the domestic economic environment, slightly moderating US growth trends for Jack Daniel's, and the impact of lower volumes and higher costs for the company's mid-priced wine brands."

Earlier this week, Brown-Forman closed its acquisition of Casa Herradura's Tequila assets for US$876m. 

The group will acquire the Herradura and El Jimador Tequilas and the New Mix Tequila-based RTD brand from the 136-year-old company. Other assets included in the purchase are Tequila production facilities and a sales and distribution organisation in Mexico.