Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, today reported results for the third quarter of 2011. For Beam as a standalone spirits business, net sales increased 10% and diluted earnings per share rose 13% to $0.53 from $0.47 in the year-ago quarter, on an adjusted pro forma basis. Year to date, adjusted pro forma net sales are up 10% and diluted earnings per share are up 11%. Given the company’s strong year-to-date sales performance, Beam is on track to achieve full-year results towards the high end of its 2011 earnings target range. On a reported basis under the former Fortune Brands structure, third-quarter diluted EPS was $2.67 versus $0.66 in the year-ago quarter. These results include the gain on sale from the July divestiture of the golf business and results for the Fortune Brands Home & Security business that was spun-off to shareholders on October 3, 2011. “Beam delivered record third-quarter sales that grew faster than our markets,” said Matt Shattock, president & chief executive officer of Beam. “We outperformed at the top line on strong growth for our Power Brands, Rising Stars and successful new products, as well as some timing benefits in the U.S. and Australia. “Our investments in brand building and innovation continued to pay off in broad-based global growth in the third quarter. Sales of our Power Brands grew 11% benefiting from standout performance for Jim Beam, Teacher’s and Courvoisier. Our Rising Star brands were sharply higher, led by strong growth from our Skinnygirl cocktails acquisition – which once again added to our overall share gain in the quarter – as well as sustained double-digit growth for super-premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon and Laphroaig Scotch. “As anticipated, growth in Beam’s third-quarter operating income was tempered by factors including our increase of more than 20% in brand investment plus start-up costs related to new products. Starting here in the fourth quarter, increases in brand investment will moderate to a rate more in line with sales growth,” Shattock added.