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Beam Suntory Posts Mid-Single-Digit U.S. Sales Increase In First Half

August 7, 2018

American whiskies and Tequila drove growth for Beam Suntory in the U.S. in the six months through June, representing the first half of the company’s fiscal year. In the U.S., Beam Suntory’s sales were up by mid-single-digits on an organic basis in the first half, with Bourbons like Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Basil Hayden’s leading the way. Sauza Tequila, in particular its higher-priced Hornitos offering, also contributed to the sales rise.

In control states, Beam Suntory’s volume was up 4.9% overall in the six months through June, with growth led by Jim Beam (+7.2%), Maker’s Mark (+9.5%), and Sauza (+11%). Among other key brands in control states, DeKuyper liqueurs were down 5.5%, but Pinnacle vodka—which has been in decline the past few years—rebounded with 2.9% progress in the first half. According to Impact Databank, Jim Beam was up 6.5% to 4.9 million cases in the U.S. in 2017 (including flavors), while Maker’s Mark grew 4.7% to 1.6 million cases, and Sauza rose 10.7% to just under 2.5 million cases, driven by Hornitos, which posted 12% growth to 810,000 cases. Beam Suntory’s Effen vodka is also beginning to emerge in the U.S., up 25% to 209,000 cases last year.

Globally, Beam Suntory said that Jim Beam’s volume was up by high single-digits, with good momentum for the core brand and double-digit growth from higher-end Jim Beam Black. Meanwhile, Maker’s Mark accelerated in international markets and grew its volumes by double-digits in the first half, as did Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Hornitos Tequila, Canadian Club whisky, and Sipsmith gin. Overall, Suntory Holdings’ beverage alcohol business—also including beer and wine interests—rose by 3.8% to ¥349 billion ($3.1b) excluding excise taxes in the six months through June, while operating income increased 9.7% to ¥62.4 billion ($562m).—Daniel Marsteller

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