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Brown-Forman celebrates 2014 as one of the most successful years in its 144-year history

Published:  25 July, 2014

Brown-Forman shareholders celebrated yesterday the success of its 2014 financial results which it said was "one of the company's most successful years in its 144- year history."

Brown-Forman's chief executive officer, Paul Vagra, said at the annual shareholder meeting: "We delivered yet another strong year of returns for our shareholders in fiscal 2014, which helped drive total shareholder return of 17% per year over the last decade, more than twice the S&P 500."

Varga added: "It's interesting to consider not just the fact that the company is performing well, but that its performing very well relative to our industry competition."

He arga noted that underlying operating income growth far exceeded the rate of growth of its industry and other relevant benchmarks.

"These consistently strong results were led by the remarkable Jack Daniel's trademark, our portfolio skew to premium North American whiskey, and the continued globalisation of our company," said Varga.

A major contributing factor has been the global success of the Jack Daniel's brand. According to the Brown-Forman annual report: "The Jack Daniel's family of brands delivered another year of strong global growth, with net sales up 8% (6% as reported).  Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey grew net sales by 6% (5% as reported) and depleted nearly 11.5 million 9L cases.  Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey grew net sales by 36% (32% as reported) and depleted over 1 million cases in only its third full year, making it the 20th largest global brand over $25 per 750 ml bottles."

Varga said: "Jack Daniel's is one of the major contributing factors and differences versus our competition. Because it has been such a well performing and consistent brand being sold now virtually everywhere."