Fortune Brands has reported a 58% drop in net profits for the first six months of 2009, but reaffirmed full-year guidance following a solid performance from subsidiary Beam Global Spirits & Wine.

Net profits attributable to the group slid to US$107m for the six months to the end of June, compared to $256.5m in the same period of 2008, Fortune Brands said today (24 July).

Net sales fell by 18.5% to $1.67bn for the period, following declines of 28% and 16% in the firm's home and golf businesses respectively. Spirits sales, including Jim Beam, Courvoisier Cognac and Sauza Tequila, fell 3% to $1.08bn.

Operating profits rose by 20% for the half, to $253m, said Fortune, which said that full-year underlying earnings per share are likely to hit a range of $2.00-2.30, within the group's previous guidance.

Fortune chairman and CEO, Bruce Carbonari, said: ""Our spirits business benefited in the quarter from our breadth across categories and price points, higher pricing, and the return to volume growth for Jim Beam ready-to-drink products in Australia.

"Results in spirits also reflected the success of new products such as Red Stag by Jim Beam and Sauza Margarita-in-a-Box, as well as management and timing of brand expense."

Spirits account for more than 70% of Fortune's operating income.

Click here to find out what Fortune Brands had to say about its spirits division in the subsequent results conference call.