• Net profits in six months to end October lift by 4% to US$275.6m
  • Sales in H1 also up, by 12% to $1.85bn
  • Operating profits see 6% increase, to $432.2m
  • Double-digit volume growth for Jack Daniel's drives half-year performance
Brown-Forman issued its half-year results this morning

Brown-Forman issued its half-year results this morning

Jack Daniel's has helped to drive Brown-Forman to rises in sales and profits for the first half of its fiscal year, but could not prevent the group from trimming its full-year guidance.

Key brands Jack Daniel's, Finlandia and El Jimador lifted Brown-Forman to a 12% increase in net sales for the six months to the end of October, to US$1.85bn, the group said today (8 December). Southern Comfort, another key brand, continued to decline.

The strong top-line performance helped Brown-Forman to a 6% rise in operating profits, to $432.2m. Net profits increased by 4% on the same period of last year, to $275.6m.

Despite this, Brown-Forman cut its guidance for full-year diluted earnings per share. Its new range is between $3.45 and $3.70, compared to a range of between $3.45 and $3.85 previously. 

Rather than a consequence of the economic gloom, Brown-Forman said that the trimmed guidance reflects the expected strength of the US dollar. Group CEO Paul Varga said: "While we expect the strengthening of the US dollar to 

dampen our reported earnings, we anticipate the continuation of our strong underlying results for the remainder of our fiscal year.”

According to Varga, Brown-Forman benefited in the first-half from strong sales momentum both in the firm's native US and further afield, particularly in Germany, Mexico, UK, Turkey, France, Brazil, Australia and Canada. 

In the second quarter, Brown-Forman reported net sales up by 12% to $1bn. Operating profits rose by 5% to $246.3m, with net profits up by 2% to $157.6m.

For the company's official release, click here.