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Tapping The Whiskey Boom, Brown-Forman Sees U.S. Sales Rise By 6% In Full-Year Results

June 8, 2016

Brown-Forman reported 6% underlying net sales growth in the U.S. for its fiscal year ended April 30, as the company continued to ride the U.S. whiskey boom.Flagship brand Jack Daniel’s reached 5.2 million cases, and upscale extension Gentleman Jack grew by 10%. Bourbon labels including Woodford Reserve (+25%) and Old Forester (+48%) also showed strong U.S. growth for the year, as did Herradura and El Jimador Tequilas, whose growth rates were in the high teens.

In flavored whiskey, the combined sales of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Tennessee Fire crossed 1 million cases in U.S. sales during the fiscal year, with Fire emerging as the key growth driver. (In calendar 2015, Tennessee Honey rose 1.3% to 680,000 cases and Fire more than quintupled in size to over 400,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.) The U.S. continues to be the most important global market for Brown-Forman by far, comprising 46% of the company’s net sales.

Across its global business, Brown-Forman posted a 5% organic sales increase to $4 billion for the year, while operating income rose 8% to $1.5 billion. A negative foreign exchange effect led to a 2% decline in sales on a reported basis. Among its key international markets, Brown-Forman’s Western European sales advanced at high single-digit rates for the year, but the company saw a marked slowdown in emerging markets, with Russia and Southeast Asia especially weak.


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