Establishing 2013 Earnings Growth TargetThe company announced that it is targeting to deliver high-single-digit growth in diluted earnings per share before charges/gains for 2013 against its 2012 base of $2.40 per share. “We enter 2013 with an assumption that our global spirits market will grow value approximately 3%, consistent with what we saw in 2012,” Shattock said. “We’ll face headwinds including higher raw materials costs and challenging comparisons in India as we reposition our business there, and we’re not currently assuming material new pricing in 2013. At the same time, we anticipate benefiting from several favorable dynamics: the strength of the bourbon category, our innovations and brand-building initiatives, strong growth in emerging markets, our efficiency and effectiveness agenda, and an additional five cents per share of accretion from our 2012 acquisitions. Incorporating these factors, we’re targeting for 2013 to outperform our market at the top line and deliver growth in diluted EPS before charges/gains at a high-single-digit rate. With regard to phasing, we will face our most challenging comparison of the year in the first quarter as we cycle against new-product launches and route-to-market changes that helped drive comparable sales up 13% in Q1 of 2012. “We believe that Beam is well positioned to deliver sustainable, profitable long-term growth as we continue to invest in fast-growing categories, fast-growing new products, and fast-growing markets. We feel good about our prospects for continued outperformance in 2013.” The company expects to generate free cash flow for 2013 in the range of $300-350 million, which incorporates continued investment to increase distillation capacity and produce more aged spirits to support long-term growth. “While we have sustained investments in long-term value creation, we’ve also continued our track record of delivering immediate value to shareholders with the 10% increase in our dividend we announced recently,” Shattock concluded.