US: Brown-Forman toasts strong Q1

By Chris Mercer | 31 August 2011

  • First-quarter net profits rise by 6% to US$118m
  • Net sales up by 13% to $840.3m
  • Operating profits increased by 8% to $185.9m
  • Jack Daniel's distiller retains full-year guidance 

Brown-Forman has reaffirmed its full-year profits and sales guidance after making a strong start to its fiscal year.

Higher advertising spend behind key brands and growing demand for the likes of Jack Daniel's and Woodford Reserve outside of the US helped Brown-Forman to increase net sales by 13% for the three months to the end of July. Sales reached $840.3m for the period, also boosted by a improvements in the US spirits market and a weak US$ currency.

An increased marketing spend for the period meant that profits increased less sharply than net sales. Operating profits rose by 8% on the same period of last year, to $185.9m, while net profits rose by 6% to $118m, Brown-Forman said today (31 August).

The group reaffirmed its full-year guidance, with earnings per share set to hit between $3.45 and $3.85. The company did not raise guidance, it said, because it remains cautious ahead of the all-important holiday season in the US.

"In this quarter, we continued to enjoy widespread international growth," said Brown-Forman's CEO, Paul Varga. "We also saw an important acceleration of our US business, driven by the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s trademark and super-premium brands, as well as the launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey." Southern Comfort and el Jimador continued to be a drag on results, however.

For the company's announcement, click here.

Sectors: Company results, Spirits, Wine

Companies: Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort

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