US: Earnings down in first quarter at Brown-Forman

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US spirits and wines group, Brown-Forman, posted a profit of $36.1m, or 53 cents a share, for the first quarter to the end of July, down 8% from $39.2m, 57 cents, in the corresponding quarter last year. The company said it had absorbed the impact of shifting to selling spirits directly to retailers in the UK, its second largest market, during the first quarter. In May, the company announced it would be selling spirits directly from the beginning of August via a joint venture with Bacardi. It said the initiative, which brought a previous distribution deal with Diageo to a close, reduced first-quarter earnings by about 13 cents, largely due to a change in the way it booked revenue.

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