US: Bourbon boosts bullish Fortune

By | 27 October 2006

US consumer goods group Fortune Brands has reaffirmed its full-year earnings target as it released its third-quarter results today (27 October).

The company, which sells beverage alcohol through its Beam Global Spirits & Wine division, said it expects to "comfortably achieve" its target of double-digit growth in earnings per share this year.

During the three months to 30 September, Fortune saw operating income leap 29% year-on-year to US$379m on the back of a 23% jump in net sales to $2.2bn.

Chairman and CEO Norm Wesley said Fortune's "enhanced premium position" in wine and spirits would be a driver in the results. The company owns brands including Jim Beam Bourbon, Sauza Tequila and Clos du Bois wines.

Wesley pointed to the "strong sales gains" made by Jim Beam, Sauza and Maker's Mark Bourbon during the third quarter.

Wesley said: "We drove strong profit growth and higher margins in spirits and wine, benefiting from a strong increase in worldwide case volumes and the synergy benefits of last year's acquisition." Last year, Fortune teamed up with Pernod Ricard to buy UK drinks group Allied Domecq.

Sectors: Spirits, Wine

Companies: Fortune Brands, Beam Global, Pernod, Ricard, Allied Domecq

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