Brown-Forman’s Upscale Whiskies, Herradura Tequila Drive 8% First Half Sales RiseDecember 5, 2012
Brown-Forman saw underlying net sales increase 8% to $1.9 billion in the six months through October, its fiscal first half, as operating income rose 12% to $484 million. Leading the way were the Jack Daniel’s family of brands (net sales up +9%), the super- and ultra-premium whiskey portfolio including Woodford Reserve and others (+21%), Herradura Tequila (+22%) and Finlandia vodka (+9%).
Jack Daniel’s progress came as a result of “solid volume gains across the family of brands, as well as price increases taken earlier this calendar year,” the company said. El Jimador (+5%) and Herradura Tequilas each grew share in the U.S., with “increased velocity” both on- and off-premise, as Brown-Forman continues to boost their investment. Wine brands Sonoma-Cutrer (+18%) and Korbel (+13%) also prospered as on-premise conditions continue to improve. Southern Comfort, meanwhile, was up 2% in the U.S. over the first half, though it fell 5% globally on declines in the U.K. and Australia.
Looking ahead, Brown-Forman says it expects underlying net sales to continue to grow by high single digits and has increased its operating income growth target to the low double-digits for the full fiscal year.