Brown-Forman released its H1 results today

Brown-Forman released its H1 results today

Today, Brown-Forman posted a rise in sales and profits in its first-half results, helped by the performance of its whiskey brands. Here just-drinks takes a closer look at the company's performance by region and brand in the six months to the end of October.

Regions

An underlying sales growth rate of 7% in emerging markets was driven by double-digit increases in China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and India. Mexico and Poland were down low single-digits in underlying sales.

Underlying net sales in the US grew by 5%, driven by the combination of strong price/mix and volumes growth, Brown-Forman said. Underlying net sales in developed markets outside of the US increased by 7%. The UK, France and Japan each delivered low double-digit growth, Brown-Forman said, while Australia and Germany’s underlying sales were each up low single-digits.

Brands

North American whiskey continued to grow globally, led by 10% underlying net sales growth for Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel’s brand. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey increased underlying global net sales by 30%, driven by the brand’s introduction to several new markets outside of the US and double-digit growth in the US. Gentleman Jack grew underlying net sales by 19% after a television campaign in the US. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel increased underlying net sales by 7% and Jack Daniel’s RTDs grew 4% despite a "challenging" market in Australia.

In other whiskies, Woodford Reserve increased underlying net sales by 27% globally, while Old Forester grew by 16%. The Early Times family of brands increased underlying sales by 5%, and Canadian Mist’s family lifted them by 1%.

In vodka, Finlandia’s family of brands’ underlying net sales increased by 1%, driven by double-digit gains in Russia. 

In Tequilas, Herradura grew underlying net sales by 7% as the brand enjoyed solid growth in the US and Mexico. El Jimador’s underlying net sales climbed by 2% as the Mexican marketplace for mainstream Tequilas “remained competitive”, Brown-Forman said. 

There was bad news for Southern Comfort, which saw underlying net sales fall by 4% despite an ongoing global campaign that had initially helped to reverse sales declines in the US. Today's results showed fresh declines in the US that more than offset 1% sales growth in other markets.

Super-premium Chardonnay brand Sonoma-Cutrer increased underlying net sales mid single-digits while Korbel Champagne grew underlying net sales by 8%.