Fortune Brands, the owner of drinks producer Jim Beam Brands, today reported net income of US$176.7m, or US$1.18 per diluted share, for the second quarter, compared to US$196.9m, in the year-ago quarter.

Net sales were US$1.58 billion, up 5% and operating income was $240 million, up 11%.

"Fortune Brands once again delivered very strong operating results in a quarter marked by lingering economic uncertainty and poor weather," said Fortune Brands chairman & CEO Norm Wesley. "Our brand investments continued to pay off in hot new products and share gains in key markets. We're adding to that growth with our high-return strategic moves, expanded customer relationships and sustained improvements in productivity and asset returns."

He said: "Our Jim Beam-ABSOLUT alliance underpinned steady results in spirits and wine and our aggressive cost reductions continue to drive the ongoing profit turnaround in our office products business.

"Fortune Brands is on track for another excellent full-year performance," Wesley said. "The strength of our first half results combined with our great brands and successful strategy enhance our confidence that we'll achieve our long-term goals of double-digit EPS growth and improved returns for the full year. We're targeting double-digit growth in EPS for the third quarter, as well."