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US: Fortune reaffirms earnings outlook

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Fortune Brands has reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the second quarter and the full year.

In remarks prepared for delivery to the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference the company's chairman and CEO, Norm Wesley, said yesterday (7 June): "We continue to see healthy consumer demand for our leading brands and broad-based growth across our brand portfolio. Our brand investments are paying off in successful new products that are adding to our top-line growth, and our strong volumes and operating efficiencies are adding to the bottom line.

"For both the second quarter and for the full year, we're continuing to target double-digit growth in earnings per share before charges/gains."

The company added that its full-year guidance does not reflect the impact of the proposed spin-off of the company's office products business and the proposed acquisition of major spirits and wine brands.

Fortune is presently waiting in the wings to see if Pernod's proposed acquisition of Allied Domecq is successful. The company will then snap up several Allied brands, one Pernod brand and Allied's distribution assets in the UK, Germany and Spain for around GBP2.8bn.


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