Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
According to the US-headquartered drinks group, which owns Jim Beam, Maker's Mark and Courvoisier, one-third of the increase was driven by sales of new product innovations.
In Q2 net sales increased 4% and were up 5% on a comparable basis despite, in what Beam termed “a challenging comparison to results in the year-ago quarter”.
Alongside product innovation, strong growth in North America was also attributed to the group’s bourbon brands.
Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam said: “Beam continued its momentum with quarterly results that exceeded our expectations, even as we lapped a very strong year-ago quarter that was boosted by our 2011 new product launches.
“Our strong top-line results were driven by our Power Brands and Rising Stars – led by Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Skinnygirl – and record quarterly sales from new products that improved our product mix.”
Net sales for the quarter were up 8% in North America and +10% year to date (YTD); in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) there was 1% growth and +5% YTD; Asia Pacific and South America (APSA) was down 1% during the quarter and up 7% YTD.
Shattock added: “Sales in North America were particularly strong, while the top line in our EMEA and APSA regions in the quarter was adversely impacted by the timing of sales.
“Beam’s profits grew faster than sales, and earnings per share grew at a solid double-digit rate. As we execute our successful growth strategy, we’re encouraged by several dynamics that benefited Beam in the quarter, including the strong sell-in for our innovations, impactful brand activation in markets around the world, and strong worldwide demand for Bourbon. The Pinnacle Vodka acquisition is also off to a good start.”