Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, today reported results for the fourth quarter and full year 2013.
For the full year 2013, reported net sales increased 4% to a record $2.55 billion. Net sales for the year were up 2% on a comparable basis, which adjusts for foreign exchange and acquisitions/divestitures. A challenging year-over-year comparison in India adversely impacted full-year comparable sales by approximately one point. Beam’s full-year sales benefited from market outperformance in North America and Europe/Middle East/Africa, partly offset by lower sales in Asia Pacific/South America. New products and positive price/mix enhanced the company’s top-line growth.
On a reported basis (GAAP), full-year diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $2.24 versus $2.51 in 2012. Full-year results were impacted by a net charge of 39 cents per share related to items including early extinguishment of debt and a fourth-quarter non-cash impairment of a tradename in Spain.
Full-year diluted EPS before charges/gains was $2.63, up 10%, exceeding the company’s 2013 target for high-single-digit growth. Earnings benefited from sales growth, operating margin improvement and lower interest expense. The company generated free cash flow of $332 million in 2013, exceeding the high end of its target range.
For the fourth quarter, reported net sales increased 4% and net sales were up 5% on a comparable basis. Comparable fourth quarter sales growth benefited from strong demand for the company’s premium whiskey and tequila brands, successful new-product innovations, and an approximate one point benefit from a return to growth in India. Comparable sales in the quarter reflected market outperformance in North America and Europe, which more than offset continued softness in the Australia market.
Diluted EPS from continuing operations for the quarter was down 29% on a reported basis. Diluted EPS before charges/gains for the quarter was $0.77, up 15%.