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Demand for Jim Beam Honey drives Beam H1 sales

Growing global demand for Bourbon and honey-flavoured whiskey has driven strong sales growth for Beam Inc in the first half of this year.

Jim Beam Honey Bourbon
Jim Beam’s Honey is one innovation from Beam driving sales growth in the US and Europe

The Illinois-based drinks group saw half-year reported net sales grow 8%, as its strategy to create “famous brands” paid dividends in the US and Europe.

Continuing strong demand for its flagship Bourbon Jim Beam – which grew 4% in the period – was bolstered by brand innovations Jim Beam Honey and Devil’s Cut.

Maker’s Mark meanwhile increased its sales by 18%, while Canadian Club grew 17% and premium vodka brand Pinnacle grew 13%.

“Beam delivered strong second quarter results as five of our seven Power Brands produced double-digit sales growth,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam. “We gained share in Tequila on strong performance for Sauza and Hornitos, and in vodka as Pinnacle continued its double-digit growth trajectory. At the same time, our total sales growth was tempered by soft conditions in the US ready-to-serve cocktails category.”

Beam’s leading Cognac brand Courvoisier however delivered a negative performance as sales declined by 17%, while its Irish whiskey brand Kilbeggan contracted by 26%, despite the launch of a major marketing drive around St. Patrick’s Day and ‘Halfway Day’ in the US.

Net sales for the second quarter of the year came in at US$637.6 million, up 7% on the same period last year.

“Consumer demand for our Bourbon brands around the world continued to grow at very encouraging rates, our premium innovations added to profitable growth, and we’ve grown sales in each of our largest markets on the back of our strong distribution organizations. We believe these advantages position us well to continue outperforming our global market.”

Shattock added that the group expected its global market would grow by 3% by the end of 2013, with the US growing around 3-4%.

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