Higher profits for Brown-Forman

NEW YORK - Alcoholic beverage maker Brown-Forman Corp has posted higher quarterly profit and raised its outlook for the current fiscal year yesterday, saying sales comparisons should ease as the year progresses.

NEW YORK - Alcoholic beverage maker Brown-Forman Corp has posted higher quarterly profit and raised its outlook for the current fiscal year yesterday, saying sales comparisons should ease as the year progresses.

Still, the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey and Southern Comfort said it remained concerned about the impact of heightened competition in the drinks industry and consumers trading down to less expensive drinks.

The company said net income rose to $147,3million, or 99cents per share in its fiscal second quarter, ended on October 31, from $143,2million or 94cents per share a year earlier. Sales fell 4,5 percent to $892,9million. Sales trends for many of its key brands improved slightly in the second quarter compared to the first, and that comparisons would ease in the latter part of the year.

In the six months ended October 31, sales growth of Jack Daniel's, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador tequila and ready-to-drink beverages was offset by declines for Finlandia vodka and Southern Comfort.

By region, sales increases in Australia, Germany and France were offset by declines in Poland, the US and SA, the company said. - Reuters

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