Brown-Forman has had its coverage rating raised by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services.

The US-based company, which earlier this month posted record sales for its most recent fiscal year, saw S&P today (24 June) up its coverage to 'stable' from 'negative', crediting sustained operating performance in the fiscal year 2008 and improved credit-protection measures.

The ratings service affirmed its corporate credit ratings of 'A' in the long-term and 'A-1' in the short-term.

S&P highlighted Brown-Forman's strong position in the US, stable cash flow characteristics and moderate financial policies.

Three weeks ago, Brown-Forman posted a net sales increase for the 12 months to the end of April by 17% year-on-year to US$3.28bn. Operating profit increased by 14% to $685m, while net profit followed suit, up 13% to $439.8m. For the fourth quarter, the company saw sales climb by 12% to $772.3m, resulting in operating profit rising by 25% to $135.4m. Net profit in the quarter soared by 48% to $99.1m.