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Beam Inc will report its first-quarter results today (3 May). Here, just-drinks takes a look at the highs and lows for the company in the three months to the end of March.

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Beam Inc celebrated the start of the year with the acquisition of Ireland's Cooley Distillery for US$95m on a debt-free basis. Beam plans to use the distillery's Kilbeggan brand to make the most of strong demand for Irish whiskey. A couple of weeks later the decision was vindicated - sales of Irish whiskey in the US overtook single malt Scotch.

On 25 January, Beam announced the creation of an MD role for emerging markets. Arthur Aroney will focus on increasing Beam's presence in Brazil and India.

Beam announced a rash of releases from its cellers at the end of February, including additions to the low-calorie SkinnyGirl range, a honey-flavoured Jim Beam and a couple of flavoured vodka lines.

At the same time, the company announced that another new product, its ready-to-drink Teachers, was blazing a trail in India.

At the start of March, strong Bourbon sales led Beam Inc to reaffirm its profits guidance for 2012. The announcement followed disappointing third-quarter results from rival Brown-Forman.

To view Beam Inc's full-year and Q4 results, click here.


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