Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, today reported strong results for the second quarter of 2012 and increased its earnings target range for the full year.
Net sales increased 4% and were up 5% on a comparable basis despite a challenging comparison to results in the year-ago quarter. Strong growth in North America and demand for the company’s Bourbon brands and innovations across categories helped drive the sales increase.
Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.63, up 58% on a reported basis (GAAP). Excluding charges/gains, diluted EPS from continuing operations was $0.58, up 16%, benefiting from volume growth, targeted price increases, and below-the-line items such as lower interest expense.
For the first half of 2012, net sales increased 8% on a comparable basis, with one-third of the increase driven by sales of new product innovations. On a reported basis, net sales grew 3% reflecting the adverse impact on comparisons of the initial sale of inventory in the first quarter of 2011 for the start-up of the company’s Australia distribution agreement. Diluted EPS before charges/gains from continuing operations is up 23% year to date, and is up 42% on a reported basis.
Growth Strategy Delivering Results Ahead of Expectations
“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,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam. “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. 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.