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Fortune Brands has posted a healthy lift in sales and profits for the first half of 2010, despite a dip in operating profits at its Beam Global Spirits & Wines division.

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The US firm, which operates home & security and golf units as well as Beam Global, said today (30 July) that the drinks division delivered operating profits of US$261.1m, down by 2.9% year-on-year, for the six months to the end of June.

Net sales at Beam Global performed well, however, rising by 10.9% to $1.20bn in the first half.

Group operating profits in the period leapt, meanwhile, by 69.7% to $429.9m, as total sales increased by 10.8% to $3.52bn. Net profits in the half-year came in at $299.6m, a massive 179.5% up on H1 2009, driven by a healthy performance at its home & security unit.

For the quarter to the end of June, Beam Global's operating profits were up by 4.1% at $146m on sales of $631.5m, a rise of 5.3%.

For Fortune as a whole, quarter-two operating profits leapt by 41.8% to $273.5m, while sales rose by 9.1% to $1.90bn.

The group praised a strong performance in the second quarter of 2010, adding that it is “on track for strong full-year results.”

“Each of our three brand groups grew sales faster than our markets, delivered operating margins at or near the top of our consumer segments, and outperformed our expectations in the quarter,” said Fortune's CEO, Bruce Carbonari.

Fortune has subsequently upped its full-year EPS target to between $2.60 and $2.90 from the previous range of  $2.50 to $2.80.

“We’re aiming to outperform our markets and believe that Fortune Brands is well positioned as we benefit from our strategic investments, share gains, lower cost structures and enhanced productivity,” Carbonari concluded.


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