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Jack Daniel’s Double-Digit Surge Drives Brown-Forman To 8% Annual Growth

June 5, 2013

Jack Daniel’s strong performance both in the U.S. and internationally propelled Brown-Forman’s net sales to $3.8 billion on 8% organic growth in the 12 months through April, its fiscal year. Jack Daniel’s family of whiskey brands (excluding RTDs) was up 12% to 12.4 million cases globally in the period, with international gains modestly outpacing strong growth in the U.S. The Jack Daniel’s brand family continues to benefit from upstart extension Tennessee Honey, whose global net sales nearly doubled from the previous year (Tennessee Honey’s U.S. net sales were up 37%).

Brown-Forman’s super- and ultra-premium whiskey stable—including Woodford Reserve, Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack and Collingwood—increased net sales by 20% and posted depletions of 825,000 cases. Woodford Reserve was up 28%, and Brown-Forman said it believes “there is a long global runway ahead for this brand, given only 14% of its sales are currently generated in non-U.S. markets.”

Other highlights included 20% net sales growth for Herradura Tequila in the U.S. (up 15% globally), a return to growth for Southern Comfort in the U.S. (up 1%) and record sales for Finlandia vodka, which neared 3.3 million cases on strong demand in Russia. Of the company’s key brands, only Southern Comfort (-4%) and Canadian Mist (-1%) posted global net sales declines for the year.

Overall, Brown-Forman’s U.S. business (which accounts for 41% of its global sales) posted constant currency sales growth of 8% for the full year, while Germany, France, Russia, Japan and Turkey saw double-digit gains on the international side. Chairman and CEO Paul Varga said “continued global interest in North American whiskey and favorable trends in premiumization” bode well for continuing growth over the next year.

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