LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville-based Brown-Forman Corp.’s per-share earnings surged 30% in its most recent quarter from a year earlier, as consumers heading back to bars and restaurants, higher prices and the removal European Union tariffs more than offset the liquor giant’s increased costs.
Brown-Forman’s sales jumped 11% in the quarter ended July 31 to $1 billion, topping Wall Street estimates of about $975 million. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey, the company’s biggest product, grew sales by 10%.
Brown-Forman has raised prices along with the broader industry without encountering “a lot of pushback” from consumers, CEO Lawson Whiting told analysts during a call Wednesday.
“I do think spirits is an affordable luxury where consumers, they prioritize that bottle of Jack Daniels,” he said.
The company still has challenges in its supply chain, especially the availability of glass for bottles, executives said. Whiting said glass supply has been “a major problem for us for a year now.”
The rationing of glass among Brown-Forman product lines explains why its tequila brands — Herradura and el Jimador — fell in sales by 4%, Whiting said.
“We really prioritized Tennessee Whiskey to the detriment of practically every other brand in our portfolio,” Whiting said. “… Brands like Gentleman Jack, the (flavored whiskeys), and now most recently, our tequila brands, have all suffered for it.”
Herradura, produced in Mexico, was especially affected by the tight supply of glass, he said.
“The brand is suffering on their glass supply shortage that we’re working very hard to try to fix, but it’s not there yet,” he said.