Brown-Forman reports excellent results in fiscal 2014
Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE:BFA, BFB) reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended April 30, 2014.
For the full year, reported net sales increased 4% to $3,946 million (+6% on an underlying basis2), reported operating income increased 8% to $971 million (+11% on an underlying basis), and diluted earnings per share increased 11% to $3.06 compared to $2.75 in the prior year period.
Reported earnings per share were negatively impacted by a reduction in inventory levels primarily due to the route-to-consumer change in France that occurred on January 1, 2014, but benefited from a lower effective tax rate.
For the fourth quarter, reported net sales increased 3% to $893 million (+3% on an underlying basis) and reported operating income increased 7% to $189 million (-2% on an underlying basis). Diluted earnings per share in the quarter increased 17% to $0.62, compared to $0.52 in the prior year period.
Paul Varga, the company's Chief Executive Officer said, "We are pleased to report another fiscal year of excellent organic growth, particularly in light of the moderating growth rates of our global competitors. I believe that our leadership position in premium American whiskey, led by the one and only Jack Daniel's trademark, and a very balanced geographic contribution, underpin the company's differentiated performance. We remain optimistic about the organic growth prospects for Brown-Forman, and our investment posture and fiscal 2015 earnings outlook reflect that optimism."