• Half-year net profits slip by 4% to US$342m
  • Net sales in six months to end of October also fall 4%, to $1.49bn
  • Operating profits decrease by 5% to $504m
  • Second-quarter net profits dip by 1% to $197m
  • Sales in three months to end of October down 3% to $830m
  • Q2 operating profits slide by 4% to $291m
Brown-Forman saw its declines slow in the second quarter

Brown-Forman saw its declines slow in the second quarter

A slightly-improved performance in the second quarter of this year has failed to return Brown-Forman's top- or bottom-line to growth in its first half.

While net profits in the three months to the end of October dipped by 1%, the 7% slide in Q1 was the main drag on half-year profits, which came in 4% down year-on-year. A Q2 sales decrease of 3%, meanwhile, compared more positively to the 5% fall in the first three months of the group's fiscal year, meaning sales in the six months dipped by 4%.

Brown-Forman flagged its divestment of the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands to Sazerac at the start of 2016 as being partly responsible for its numbers, noting that sales and operating profits on an underlying basis rose in H1 by 2% and by 7%, respectively.

"As anticipated," said CEO Paul Varga, "our reported earnings were impacted noticeably in the first half by the absence of the brands we sold in late fiscal year 2016, as well as by adverse foreign exchange. Underlying growth in net sales and operating income was solid considering the strength of last year's first half."

Looking to the full-year, Varga reaffirmed the group's target of earnings-per-share between $1.71 and $1.81, with underlying net sales expected to rise by between 4% and 5%. "We anticipate additional improvement in underlying net sales growth in the second half of fiscal-2017 against more favourable comparisons, as well as continued investments to position the company for sustained long-term growth," he concluded.

To read Brown-Forman's half-year results statement, click here.

For a review of Brown-Forman's half-year performance on a by-region and by-brand basis, click here