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Brown-Forman full-year sales rise 8%

Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman saw net sales increase by 8% in fiscal 2023, led by the double-digit growth of Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

Woodford Reserve saw double-digit growth in 2023, with net sales rising by 26%

For the three months ending 30 April 2023, Brown-Forman’s net sales increased 5% to US$1 billion, while reported operating income rose by 21% to US$298 million.

The company’s 12-month reported net sales increased by 8% to US$4.2bn, while operating profit decreased by 6% to US$1.1bn.

The Q4 sales growth follows the group’s 8% increase for its third quarter in March this year, boosted by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey.

Lawson Whiting, Brown-Forman’s president and chief executive officer, said: “In fiscal 2023, Brown-Forman continued its tradition of delivering strong organic top- and bottom-line growth.

“We were able to build on last year’s double-digit organic net sales growth by continuing the premiumisation of our portfolio, investing boldly in our brands, building new strategic relationships, developing and supporting our talented people, and honouring our values.

“As we turn our focus to fiscal 2024, I believe we can grow on this elevated foundation and continue to deliver ‘nothing better in the market’.”

In 2023, Brown-Forman said strong consumer demand was seen across all regions and in the travel retail sector.

Premium Bourbons, which includes Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, grew by double digits (23%). Woodford Reserve climbed by 26%.

Meanwhile, the Jack Daniel’s family of brands saw 4% growth, led by its flagship Tennessee whiskey (up 3%), and the brand’s ready-to-drink (RTD) portfolio (up 11%). The latter was fuelled by the launch of the Jack Daniel’s & Coca-Cola RTD in the US.

The brand was also bolstered by the launch of Jack Daniel’s Bonded Tennessee Whiskey.

The Tequila portfolio rose by 10%, with Herradura growing by 11%.

The firm’s RTDs saw success, particularly New Mix in Mexico, which saw sales leap 53%, fuelled by higher volumes and pricing.

Market performance

Emerging markets, primarily the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, grew net sales by 18%, driven by Jack Daniel’s.

Developed international markets, led by Germany, Japan, Italy and Belgium, saw net sales increase by 4%.

The travel retail channel soared by 41%, led by Jack Daniel’s.

During the financial year, Brown-Forman purchased Gin Mare and Diplomático Rum.

For fiscal 2024, the company expects trends to ‘normalise’ after two consecutive years of double-digit organic sales growth, predicting this figure to be in the 5%-7% range.

Its capital expenditures for next year are predicted to be in the US$250m-US$270m range.

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