Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA) (NYSE:BFB) shareholders gathered today in Louisville to celebrate another record year of results for the 143-year-old company.
During the course of the meeting, shareholders re-elected the following individuals to the Brown-Forman Board of Directors: Joan C. Lordi Amble; Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne; Geo. Garvin Brown IV; Martin S. Brown, Jr.; Bruce L. Byrnes; John D. Cook; Sandra A. Frazier; Dace Brown Stubbs; Paul C. Varga; and James S. Welch, Jr. Shareholders also approved the company’s 2013 Omnibus Compensation Plan.
In remarks during the meeting, Brown-Forman Board Chairman Geo. Garvin Brown IV thanked the shareholders for their on-going support of the board, the company’s leadership team, and the company’s employees around the world. He noted that 2013 celebrates the 80 th anniversary of Brown-Forman’s initial public offering, which was made at the end of Prohibition in 1933. He said that Brown-Forman has thrived over the last 80 years because of the company’s skillful ability to balance risk and reward so well in all of its endeavors.
Paul Varga, chairman and CEO, discussed the company’s strong performance in fiscal 2013, noting the underlying operating income growth rate of 13% far exceeded the industry’s average rate of growth, and the company’s 22% Return on Invested Capital was also at the top of the distilled spirits industry. “This performance was led by the remarkable Jack Daniel’s trademark, as well as solid growth contributions from our Woodford Reserve, Herradura, and Finlandia brands,” said Varga.Varga also highlighted Brown-Forman’s balanced strategy. “We believe that by approaching the business in a thoughtful and balanced manner, we are best positioned to consistently make good decisions and produce excellent results.” In a separate meeting, the Board of Directors approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of 25-1/2 cents per share on Class A and Class B Common Stock. Stockholders of record on September 5, 2013, will receive the cash dividend on October 1, 2013. With this dividend, Brown-Forman will have paid regular quarterly cash dividends for 68 consecutive years. The Company has also increased the regular cash dividend for 29 consecutive years.