Brown-Forman Profits Get Big American Whiskey Boost

Kentucky-based Brown-Forman, owners of the popular Jack Daniel’s and Woodford Reserve whiskey brands, looks to be making a little bit of a killing in the brown spirits portion of its diverse liquor portfolio. The publicly traded corporation announced its third quarter fiscal results yesterday, showcasing solid operating income growth in part due to a continued public love affair with American whiskey.

The company said it saw an eight percent growth in reported underlying operating income in this quarter to the tune of $272 million. What’s even more impressive though are a number of positive growth factors for Brown-Forman over the first nine months of its 2015 fiscal year, including having seven percent growth in underlying operating income.

The Brown-Forman line up (image via Matt Lehrer/flickr

The Brown-Forman line up (image via Matt Lehrer/flickr)

Matching the strong operating income was a positive net sales increase of five percent for the first three quarters of the current fiscal year. This was not surprisingly led in the United States by the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey brand, both in the regular bottling (up eight percent) and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, the latter of which surged in sales by nearly a third (32 percent).

Also helping to give Brown-Forman impressive numbers were various expressions from its portfolio of so-called “ultra-premium whiskey brands,” which includes Woodford Reserve and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Gold and Collingwood. Three interesting factoids which emerged from this range:

  • Collective sales of the entire portfolio surpassed 1 million cases over the course of a year.
  • Woodford Reserve’s family of brands led the way, with 32% growth in underlying net sales.
  • Old Forester grew underlying net sales double-digits, tied in part to the launch of Old Forester 1870.
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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...