Drinks firm Brown-Forman has reported a 20% increase in net sales (+18% underlying) in the first quarter of its financial year, to $906 million (€764 million), in what chief executive Lawson Whiting said was a "strong start" to the financial year.
The group said that it reported 'strong growth' across all geographies, as well as a recovery in the travel retail channel, with its core Jack Daniel’s family of brands seeing net sales up 20% (+16% underlying).
Premium bourbons were up 34% (+36% underlying), while the group's tequila portfolio saw net sales rise by 32% (+23% underlying).
'Strong Portfolio' Of Brands
"These results were driven by the strength of our portfolio, which benefited from the re-opening of the on-premise, sustained at-home consumption, and continued premiumisation trends," said Whiting.
Operating profits for the period were up 25% (+15% on a underlying basis) to $289 million (€244 million), with diluted earnings per per share down 41% due to gains last year from the sale of the Canadian Mist, Early Times, and Collingwood brands.
In its home market of the US, sales growth was largely driven by its core Jack Daniel's brand, which saw double-digit growth, along with premium bourbons, and tequilas. Ready-to-drink beverages also performed well, after a stellar year last year.
In developed international markets, the business said that it maintained double-digit net sales growth, led by Germany, France, Korea, and Spain, while emerging markets also returned to double-digit growth, despite declines in Southeast Asia.
Travel Retail Recovers
Travel retail was also up, however, this compares to a period last year of 'significant disruption' due to the COVID-19 crisis, Brown-Forman said.
“While we are optimistic the operating environment will continue to improve, we are closely monitoring the potential volatility associated with the evolving pandemic and continued supply chain disruptions," Whiting added.
"Backed by the strength of our brands and our people, we are confident in our ability to manage our business for the long term.”