Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, today reported results for the second quarter of 2013. Net sales for the second quarter increased 7% and were up 5% on a comparable basis. Strong sales growth for the company’s global Power Brands, led by Jim Beam, drove the quarterly sales performance. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.46 versus $0.63 per share in the year-ago quarter. Results in the current year period were impacted by a one-time loss on the early extinguishment of debt. Excluding charges/gains, diluted EPS was $0.64, up 8% from $0.59 a year ago, benefiting from strong sales, targeted price increases, and a lower effective tax rate. For the first half of 2013, net sales increased 8% and were up 4% on a comparable basis. Diluted EPS increased 5% in the first half, and diluted EPS before charges/gains was 15% higher than in the year-ago period. Driving Momentum in Key Categories “Beam delivered strong second quarter results as five of our seven Power Brands produced double-digit sales growth,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam. “Our strategy to Create Famous Brands paid off in strong demand for our flagship Jim Beam brand, which grew double digits across the US and Europe as premium innovations such as Jim Beam Honey and Devil’s Cut added to growth for the core Jim Beam white label. We gained share in Tequila on strong performance for Sauza and Hornitos, and in vodka as Pinnacle continued its double-digit growth trajectory. At the same time, our total sales growth was tempered by soft conditions in the US ready-to-serve cocktails category.” The company noted that an increase in US distributor inventories in the second quarter largely offset the adverse sales impact of factors previously identified by the company, principally the timing of Maker’s Mark sales and lower results in India.