US: Strong Beam showing fails to halt Fortune slip

By | 27 April 2007

Fortune Brands has seen its figures slide for the first three months of 2007, despite a strong showing from its spirits and wine unit.

The US-based company, which owns Beam Global Spirits & Wine, said today (27 April) that net income for the quarter was down by 30.7% year-on-year at US$120.2m, down from $173.4m a year earlier. Group net sales for the period slid 3% to $1.95bn.

"Fortune Brands continued to benefit from our unique breadth and balance in the first quarter as solid profit growth for our spirits and wine brands partly offset lower results for our home products brands," said company chairman and CEO Norm Wesley.

Despite strong sales of spirits and wine in the US, Wesley highlighted the impact of the housing downturn in the US hitting the group's other units.

Net sales for spirits and wine were down by 8.6% in the quarter to $559.1m, but operating income rose 5.2% to $134.9m.

Wesley forecast a turnaround in the second quarter for Fortune, as he reaffirmed full-year expectations that earnings per share before charges/gains will be "in the range of down mid-single digits to up low-single digits".

Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Fortune Brands, Beam Global

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