Source Pravda.Ru

Brown-Forman 3Q income rises 10%

By Anastasia Tomazhenkova: One of the largest American liquor producer Brown-Forman Corp. posted that its third-quarter income rose 10% from the addition of Casa Herradura premium telquilas along with higher global demand for its flagship Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey line as well as Finlandia vodka.

The Louisville-based distiller claimed that it also benefited from favorable foreign exchange fluctuations but narrowed its profit forecast for the full fiscal year.

For the three months ended January 31, Brown-Forman posted it earned 116 million dollars, or 94 cents per share, compared to 105.1 million dollars, or 85 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. The year-ago results included a 6.5 million dollars write-down from the company's sale of its Hartmann luggage division.

Revenue in the most recent quarter rose 16% to 877.4 million dollars, compared to 754.8 million dollars a year ago.

International markets continued to drive sales for Jack Daniel's, with quarterly growth in the mid-single digits compared to a low-single-digit increase in the United States. The company reported strong double-digit growth in the quarter for its superpremium Gentleman Jack and its Jack Daniel's & Cola.

Finlandia sales grew at a double-digit rate, led by robust growth in Eastern Europe. Global sales for Southern Comfort declined in the quarter, with weakness in U.S. and international markets.

The company said its advertising expenses increased 14% to 108 million dollars in the quarter, primarily reflecting investments behind the Casa Herradura brands it acquired in January 2007.

Meanwhile, Brown-Forman narrowed the range of its full-year earnings outlook to 3.42 dollars to 3.50 dollars a share, representing growth of 9% to 11% over the prior year. The prior forecast had been in the range of 3.42 dollars to 3.54 dollars a share.

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