Jack Daniel's whiskey owner Brown-Forman has lifted its full-year profits guidance after reporting a rise in earnings for the first half of its fiscal year.

Lower advertising, wage and sales costs saw net profits for the six months to the end of October rise by 16% to US$286.6m, compared to $231.4m in the same period of last year, Brown-Forman said today (8 December).

Profits rose 3% to $147m in the second quarter, while operating profits rose 15% and 2% for the half-year and second quarter respectively.
The firm, which also owns Southern Comfort whiskey and el Jimador Tequila, reported a 5% fall in net sales for the half-year, to $1.63bn from $1.72bn. The decline slowed to 4% in the second quarter. 

"Brown-Forman now expects a slight improvement in underlying operating income growth when compared to the company's original guidance," said the firm.

It added that it has increased and narrowed its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $2.95 to $3.15 per share in the company.

"However, Brown-Forman remains concerned about the impact on consumption from a soft on-premise channel, consumer trading-down, and heightened competitive activity," it said in its outlook.

"We are pleased to report such excellent first half results, particularly given the difficult operating environment and the tough comparables in the prior year," said group CEO Paul Varga.

For the full announcement, click here.

An update on the results, following the group's conference call, will appear here shortly.