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?Brown-Forman raises fiscal outlook for 2014

Published:  06 March, 2014

Jack Daniel's brand grew underlying sales 10%, helping Brown-Forman Corporation continue its momentum to post further gains in its third quarter financial results which were released yesterday.

The company reported net sales grew by 5% year on year to $1,078 million and gross profit also jumped 5% to $532 million, primarily driven by high demand for whiskey and double digit growth with Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey, which passed the one million case mark in January. Additionally, Brown-Forman reported its super-premium whiskey brands grew underlying sales by 16%, including 27% growth from the Woodford Reserve family of whiskies.

Paul Varga, Brown-Forman's chief executive, said: "We delivered great top- and bottom-line results in the third quarter, continuing the momentum from the first half. We believe our top-tier performance was due primarily to the global strength of the Jack Daniel's trademark, disciplined innovation, our favourable skew to outperforming categories and price points, and our limited exposure to some of the emerging markets that have decelerated."

Emerging markets help contribute to the positive financial results, with underlying net sales growth of 12%, driven by double digit growth in China, Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Turkey and India, among other countries.

Operating income also rose by 7% to $255 million.

With the third quarter financial results beating expectations, Brown-Forman raised its fiscal 2014 earning per share outlook to $2.95-$3.05.

Varga said: "Given the continued strength and resilience of our business, we are raising our full year outlook for fiscal 2014 and now expect low double-digit growth in underlying operating income and diluted earnings per share of $2.95-$3.05."