Excellent Results in First Full Year as Beam
“Beam continued to deliver excellent results in its first full year as a focused pure-play spirits company,” Shattock continued. “We created value through the long-term growth algorithm we outlined a year ago: growing sales faster than our market, operating income faster than sales, and EPS faster still. In 2012, we exceeded our expectations at both the top and bottom lines as we increased comparable sales at roughly twice the rate of our global market, and grew EPS before charges/gains ahead of our target for the year. Full-year sales growth was balanced across our three regional segments, fueled by double-digit global growth for our Power Brands and Rising Stars, and we improved margins with premium innovations and higher pricing.
“We are particularly pleased that we outperformed in 2012 even as we increased investment in the competitive position and long-term growth of our business. These investments included a double-digit increase in brand-building investment, as well as higher capital expenditures to produce more aged spirits to meet future demand. In 2012, we further strengthened our core equities with impactful brand communication on television and in digital media; we accelerated our growth with innovative new products while also opening our new Global Innovation Center; we continued to strengthen our premium portfolio by adding a Power Brand in vodka and entering Irish Whiskey; and we enhanced our routes to market across fast-growing economies like China as well as in developed markets such as Japan.
“Beam generated higher-than-expected free cash flow of $337 million, and we ended the year with a net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 2.8 times, better than we had targeted. We’re also pleased that our 2012 acquisitions were five cents per share accretive to our full year results,” Shattock said. “We believe our investments and stronger balance sheet enhance Beam’s prospects to deliver sustainable, profitable long-term growth.”