US wines and spirits producer, Brown-Forman Corp., posted a 14% rise in net income for the fourth quarter from US$51.2m to US$58.2m. The company attributed the improvement to growth in spirits sales and lower costs stemming from a business improvement programme.

Sales rose by 8.4% to US$571.4m. Brown-Forman, which markets china good and luggage in addition its leading wines and spirits brands such as Jack Daniels and Southern Comfort, said sales of wine and spirits had risen by 11% in the quarter to US$446.1m.

For the full year, net income was up by 7.7% at US$245.3m on sales, 6.9% higher at US$2.38 billion.

Wines and spirts sales for the full year rose by 11% to US$1.8 billion on the back of a solid performance from Jack Daniel's and Southern Comfort and the weaker dollar, the company said.