Brown-Forman Reports 4% Sales Decrease In 2017

Brown-Forman, the drinks corporation behind Jack Daniel’s and other global brands, this week reported a 4% dip in 2017 sales compared with last year.

Underlying sales declined from $4 billion to $3.9 billion. Net income was $669 million for the full fiscal year, compared with $1.07 billion last year, a number inflated by the sale of the Southern Comfort and Tuaca brands to Sazerac. 

In its earnings report, Brown-Forman pointed to the volatile global economy and a fluky amount of inventory fluctuation in 2017 for the sales decline. The company does not believe the inventory issues will persist, meaning wholesalers will have better access to Brown-Forman products next year.

Jack Daniel’s was not part of the problem. Net sales for the brand’s overall portfolio grew 3%.

Elsewhere, Woodford Reserve road the brown spirits boom to a 14% gain in net sails. Tequila Herradura tapped into the trend of premium tequilas for a 9% increase. el Jimador was up 8%.

Finlandia Vodka declined 1%, while Canadian Mist (-12%) and Chambord also slumped.

Brown-Forman has reportedly pledged $100 million in cuts over three years in response to the 4% sales decline.

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