The chief financial officer of Brown-Forman, Jane Morreau, has said that the spirits giant is confident that it will be able to navigate through the current market challenges, "while remaining focused on [its] long-term strategic priorities".
Morreau was commenting following the publication of the Jack Daniel's maker's second quarter results, which saw it post flat sales and a 6% decline in reported operating profit.
Over the half year period, meanwhile, net sales were down 1%, with operating profit up 19%.
“In our 150 year history, we have experienced many unforeseen turbulent events and have emerged stronger," Morreau said. "We believe this time will be no different.”
During the half-year period, reported sales in its Jack Daniel's family of brands were down 3%, however its premium bourbons were up 18% and its tequila portfolio rose by 5%.
Its core brand, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, was impacted by 'lower volumes in certain emerging markets and our Travel Retail channel reflecting travel bans and other restrictions related to COVID-19', it said, as well as an 'unfavourable channel mix environment' in the US and developed international markets due to the closure of the on-trade.
Internationally, the business said that it posted sales growth in Brazil, Mexico and Poland, however this was offset by 'broad-based declines' in Southeast Asia, Russia, India, and several Latin American markets.
Its Travel Retail business also continues to be 'significantly impacted' as a result of COVID-related travel bans.
Brown-Forman said that it is not providing quantitative guidance for fiscal year 2021, due to 'substantial uncertainty in the rapidly evolving environment due to COVID-19 and its effect on the global economy'.
“We continue to be pleased with our underlying top-line growth in the first half, commented president and CEO Lawson Whiting. "Notably, our business accelerated in the second quarter amidst an unprecedented environment. These results are a testament to the resilience of our people, the strength of our brands, and the agility that so many before us today have demonstrated over the company’s last 150 years."
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.