Bourbon demand drives Suntory's FY boost

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  • Beam Suntory FY sales up 23%
  • Suntory Beer sales increase 5%
  • Suntory Beverage & Food sales jump by 10%

Suntory Holdings' spirits unit, Beam Suntory, has posted a strong full-year sales rise as continued demand for Bourbon drove performance.

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Net sales for Beam Suntory were up 23% in 2015 after a full year of results since Suntory bought the Beam Inc business in early 2014. Organic sales were up mid-single digits on the back of Jim Beam sales in the US and Maker's Mark, Laphroaig, and Canadian Club sales in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Australia. Beam Suntory's premium Bourbons Knob Creek and Basil Hayden's also found double-digit growth for the year, the company said.

Suntory Spirits, Beam Suntory's Japanese division, saw 6% year-on-year growth in sales, driven by strong growth in whisky and RTD products. Whisky volumes increased 13% year-on-year. Suntory Beer increased volumes by 1% to 73.59m cases but sales were up 5% year-on-year despite an overall flat market. Suntory Wine International grew sales volume by 4% year-on-year.

Suntory's soft drinks unit, Suntory Beverage & Food, increased sales by 10% to JPY1.37tn (US$12bn), with operating profits up by 7% to JPY111bn. Shares in the listed unit fell by 3.3% in trading today.

Looking forward, the company said its alcohol sales are forecast to rise by 1.4% next year as non-alcoholic and food sales increase by 3.5%.

Suntory also operates non-beverage business units, including Suntory Wellness, Dynac Corporation and Häagen-Dazs Japan. Combined sales for Suntory Holdings were up 9% at JPY2.7tn, while profits increased by 18% to JPY45.3bn.

Last week, Beam Suntory lined up a sales, marketing and distribution switch in Kenya, through Edrington's joint venture with Cyprus-based FIX Wines & Spirits and local partner King Beverage.

To read the company's full results, click here.

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