Net sales increased by 4% to $4.1 bn, and reported operating income was up 6% to $1.0 bn for the full year ending April 30, 2015, the American spirits and wine company reported yesterday.
The company expects the ‘favorable dynamics’ that have driven growth since 2012 will continue over the next year. Despite a mixed economic outlook, the company expects it will see continued growth in both developed and emerging markets.
It predicts 6% - 7% growth in underlying net sales for fiscal 2016, with the Jack Daniel’s trademark being a strong force for the corporation.
Across its portfolio Brown-Forman produces whiskey (including Woodford Reserve and Old Forester), Tequila (including Don Eduardo and Pepe Lopez), vodka (Finlandia), liquour (including Southern Comfort) and wine (Korbel and Sonoma-Cutrer).
2015: The top four markets
US: more market share gains
The 2015 fiscal year saw Brown-Forman’s main market, the US, grow 8% in underlying net sales.
“We enjoyed one of our strongest years in recent history in the US, fueling the fourth straight year of value-based market share gains,” the company said.
“Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey approached the 5m case milestone, on the heels of a campaign to reignite the pioneer in craft American whiskey. The brand’s growth is particularly noteworthy against a backdrop where most other top 10 brands are experiencing sales declines in the country.”
The country accounts for 43% of Brown-Forman sales.
Australia: down 1%
Australia’s 1% decline in underlying net sales was a result of a difficult economic environment, weak consumer confidence, and a continued shift among consumers away from spirits with high taxes, Brown-Forman said.
UK: 9% of Brown-Forman sales
Net sales in the UK grew by 5%, and the country has been a key market for the Jack Daniel’s trademark.
The UK accounts for 9% of Brown-Forman sales.
Mexico: Tequila triumphs
Mexico’s 3% growth was helped in no small part by the Tequila brand Herradura (an ultra-premium, 100% agave spirit) and in particular the launch of Herradura Ultra.
However, El Jimador tequila saw volume declines in the country, attributed to an increase in pricing and brand repositioning.
Mexico takes a 6% share of the corporation’s sales.
Making up the top ten markets for Brown-Forman are Germany (down 2% in the year), Poland (down 7%), France (up 42%, thanks to a transition to owned distribution), Russia (up 4%), Turkey (up 32%) and Canada (up 10%).
But the corporation has its eyes on other markets as well. Brazil saw underlying net sales go up 43%, while a ‘small but growing cadre’ of fans in India are looking for for authentic, premium imported American whiskey - boosting India’s sales by 14%.