Deerfield, Ill., January 28, 2008 - Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., a unit of Fortune Brands (NYSE: FO), achieved record full-year results for 2007 with double-digit sales increases across key premium spirits brands. The company credits its strong performance to smart brand building and brand investment strategies designed to boost brand equity and drive sustainable growth in both volume and value.
"We started the year with a new marketing vision 'Building Brands People Want to Talk About,' and focused intently in 2007 on bringing that vision to life," said Tom Flocco, president and chief executive officer, Beam Global Spirits & Wine. "We continue to develop marketing strategies that center around effective consumer pull initiatives designed to build buzz through non-traditional marketing methods. In tandem with a sharp increase in our brand spending in the second half of the year, our strategic approach is paying off. We are excited to be starting 2008 on the heels of a record year."Brand performance highlights include:
- Jim Beam, the company's flagship brand and the number one selling bourbon in the world, surpassed the six million case mark
- Continued investment in the bourbon portfolio led to double-digit revenue growth in constant currency for bourbon pack leader Jim Beam
- Sauza, the world's number two tequila achieved double-digit revenue gains for the year with strong performance in the U.S., Canada and Europe
- Maker's Mark premium bourbon achieved double-digit net revenue growth as it began to ramp-up its global presence and expand outside the U.S.
- Teacher's blended Scotch whisky achieved double-digit net revenue growth driven by emerging markets such as India, Brazil and global travel retail
The company increased brand spending in the second half of the year with the launch of new advertising, marketing and positioning campaigns in support of three of its global brands – Sauza tequila, Canadian Club Canadian whisky and Courvoisier Cognac. Highlights include:
- Re-launch of the super-premium Sauza Hornitos line with two new product extensions, new packaging, new positioning and a new advertising campaign
- New global campaign for Courvoisier along with the launch of Exclusif in the U.S.
- First new campaign for Canadian Club whisky in more than 20 years marking the largest ever spend increase behind the brand.
Beam Global experienced international growth across its portfolio including:
- Increased investment in emerging markets around the world such as India, China and Russia, where key global brands experienced strong growth
- Fortified Jim Beam's position as the best-selling spirit of any kind in Australia, the world's second largest bourbon market, through a new distribution agreement with Coca-Cola Amatil. In its first year, the relationship has already significantly increased reach across all brands
- Launched the new Jim Beam and Cola, with a zero sugar additive, ready-to-drink beverage in Australia
- Maker's Mark achieved good momentum outside the U.S. and laid the groundwork for continued international growth in 2008
- Global Travel Retail and Duty Free grew by more than 30% despite significant challenges in the GTR channel
"We will continue to increase brand investment on core brands as we execute against our vision of Building Brands People Want to Talk About in 2008," said Mr. Flocco. "We fully expect that the new brand positioning campaigns launched in 2007 will benefit us in 2008, and we are looking at other brand building opportunities that will continue to deliver results for our premium spirits around the world."
Beam Global is well-positioned to benefit from the continued growth of spirits in 2008, including consumer interest in trading-up to premium and super-premium brands.
About Beam Global Spirits & Wine:
Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits& Wine, Inc., is building brands people want to talk about. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club Whisky, Courvoisier Cognac, Maker's Mark Bourbon, Laphroaig Scotch Whisky, Larios Gin, Whisky DYC, Teacher's Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper Cordials and Liqueurs, Knob Creek Bourbon and Starbucks Liqueurs. Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company with annual sales exceeding $8 billion. For more information on Beam Global Spirits & Wine, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit http://www.beamglobal.com and www.drinksmart.com.