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In December, Brown-Forman reported its results for the second half of its fiscal-2018. Sales in the six months to the end of October rose by 7% in organic terms, while operating profits increased by 14%. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the company's sales performance by market and by brand in the six-month period.

Brown-Forman Fiscal-2018 - First-Half Sales versus 2017

Source: Company results

The group has had a positive start to its fiscal year, with sales rising by mid-single-digits. In reported terms, the top-line actually increased by 10%.

Performance by market 

  • The US - Sales +6% (in organic terms)

The Jack Daniel's portfolio did well in the US during the half, according to Brown-Forman, which said growth was "balanced" without giving further details. Woodford Reserve and Old Forester were credited with double digit sales rises, while the group's Tequila brands, Herradura and El Jimador, were up double-digits in organic sales.

  • Developed markets outside of US - Sales +5%

Brown-Forman welcomed a second half rebound after a flat Q1. For the first half of the year, organic sales growth was up 5%, with the UK and Germany leading the way on double-digit increases. Japan's organic sales declined due to comparisons with the prior year's buy-ins in advance of price increases, Brown-Forman said.

  • Emerging markets - Sales +15%

Underlying sales for the first half were slightly down on Q1's 19% jump, but Brown-Forman highlighted accelerated growth in its biggest two emerging markets, Mexico and Poland. Russia, Turkey, Brazil, Thailand, China and Ukraine grew organic sales double-digits, helped by comparisons to a soft first half of fiscal 2017.

  • Global Travel Retail - Sales +11%

There was continued strong growth for Brown-Forman's Travel Retail sales, but the company warned that the second half of the year will be more challenged as it cycles strong comparisons in the year-prior. The company cited higher passenger volumes in Russia and Turkey for part of the year-to-date jump.

Brown-Forman Fiscal-2018 - First-Half Brand Performance versus 2017

BrandVolumesReported SalesOrganic Sales
Jack Daniel's Family+8%+10%+7%
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey+7%+9%+6%
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey+9%+10%+8%
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire+15%+22%+14%
Jack Daniel's RTD/RTP+11%+14%+15%
Gentleman Jack+9%+11%+9%
Woodford Reserve+20%+23%+21%
Finlandia+5%+18%+8%
El Jimador+8%+15%+10%
Herradura+13%+15%+19%
All other brands-1%+3%+1%
Other non-branded----6%+14%
Total+6%+10%+7%

Source: Company results


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