Louisville, KY - Brown‑Forman Corporation (NYSE: BFA, BFB) reported financial results for its third quarter and nine months ended January 31, 2022. For the third quarter, the company’s reported net sales1 of $1,037 million increased 14% (+22% on an organic* basis2) compared to the same prior-year period. In the quarter, reported operating income increased 24% to $347 million (+43% on an organic basis) and diluted earnings per share increased 19% to $0.54.
For the first nine months of the fiscal year, the company’s reported net sales increased 11% to $2,937 million (+14% on an organic basis) compared to the same prior-year period. Year-to-date reported operating income decreased 4% to $958 million (+19% on an organic basis) and diluted earnings per share declined 12% to $1.43, primarily due to the gain from the sale of the Canadian Mist, Early Times, and Collingwood brands in the prior fiscal year.
Lawson Whiting, Brown‑Forman’s President and Chief Executive Officer said, “Brown‑Forman’s business remained strong as we delivered double-digit net sales growth year-to-date, even amid significant supply chain constraints, most notably glass supply.” He added, “The agility and resilience of our people, backed by the increased demand for our brands, allowed us to build on the momentum from the first half of the year to deliver a strong third quarter. We believe our accelerated rate of growth keeps us on track to deliver high quality results for fiscal 2022.”
Year-to-Date Fiscal 2022 Highlights
• Reported net sales grew 11% (+14% organic).
- Driven by strong double-digit reported net sales growth led by our emerging and developed international markets, with solid growth in the United States and a rebound in our Travel Retail channel.
- The Jack Daniel’s family of brands grew reported net sales 12% (+14% organic) powered by 17% reported net sales growth (+20% organic) from Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
- Premium bourbons, led by Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, grew reported net sales 10% (+10% organic).
- The tequila portfolio grew reported net sales 19% (+17% organic) driven by double-digit growth from Herradura and el Jimador.
Year-to-Date Fiscal 2022 Brand Results
• The Jack Daniel’s family of brands delivered double-digit reported net sales growth of 12% (+14% organic) fueled by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, which benefited from volume growth globally and favorable channel mix supported by the ongoing reopening of the on-premise channel. Additionally, the continued international launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple and strong consumer demand for Jack Daniel’s RTDs were significant contributors to growth. Supply chain disruptions adversely impacted the results for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, and Gentleman Jack during the first nine months of the fiscal year. Reported net sales were positively impacted by an estimated net increase in distributor inventories.
• Premium bourbons, led by Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, maintained double-digit reported net sales growth of 10% (+10% organic) led by gains in the United States, Travel Retail, and the United Kingdom. Woodford Reserve’s reported net sales moderated driven by supply chain disruptions resulting in a net decrease in distributor inventories.
• The tequila portfolio’s double-digit reported net sales growth of 19% (+17% organic) was propelled by Herradura and el Jimador. Herradura grew volumes in the United States and Mexico due to strong consumer demand while Mexico also benefited as it cycled against a favorable prior-year comparison. el Jimador’s reported net sales growth was driven by broad-based volume gains in the United States, Colombia, and the United Kingdom.
Year-to-Date Fiscal 2022 Market Results
• Reported net sales in the United States3 grew 5% (+8% organic). Gains were driven by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, which benefited from volume growth and the continued reopening of the on-premise channel, along with strong consumer demand for our tequilas and premium bourbons. An estimated net increase in distributor inventories positively impacted reported net sales. This growth was partially offset by the effect of acquisitions and divestitures in the prior year along with lower volumes for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Gentleman Jack. Reported net sales were adversely impacted by supply chain disruptions.
• Developed international3 markets grew reported net sales 12% (+15% organic) fueled by broad-based growth largely due to the continued reopening of the on-premise channel as well as a rebound of travel and tourism in some markets. Gains were led by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s RTDs. This growth was partially offset by the negative effect of foreign exchange. An estimated net increase in distributor inventories positively impacted reported net sales.
• Emerging markets3 maintained double-digit reported net sales growth of 22% (+27% organic) propelled by volume gains across most markets largely due to a favorable prior-year comparisons. An estimated net increase in distributor inventories positively impacted reported net sales. Results were powered by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple. This growth was partially offset by the negative effect of foreign exchange.
• Reported net sales in the Travel Retail3 channel increased 57% (+58% organic) primarily due to a favorable prior-year comparison as the business continues to recover from pandemic-related travel bans and restrictions.
Year-to-Date Fiscal 2022 Other P&L Items
• Reported gross profit increased 11% (+14% organic). As expected, year-to-date gross margins contracted slightly, driven primarily by supply chain disruptions and input costs, largely related to agave and grain, as well as the negative effect of foreign exchange. This impact was primarily offset by favorable price/mix, driven by the continued reopening of the on-premise, and the divestiture of the Canadian Mist, Early Times, and Collingwood brands in the prior fiscal year.
• Reported advertising expense increased 12% (+12% organic) as the company continued to invest behind its brands and cycled last year’s COVID-19 related phasing of spend which was more heavily weighted to the second half of the year. Reported selling, general, and administrative expenses increased 8% (+8% organic) led by compensation related expenses.
• The company’s reported operating income decreased by 4% (+19% organic) and diluted earnings per share decreased 12% to $1.43, largely driven by the $0.19 per share impact from the gain on the sale of the Canadian Mist, Early Times, and Collingwood brands.
Year-to-Date Fiscal 2022 Financial Stewardship
• On January 25, 2022, Brown‑Forman’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.1885 per share on the Class A and Class B common stock. The quarterly cash dividend is payable on April 1, 2022 to stockholders of record on March 8, 2022. Brown‑Forman, a member of the prestigious S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index, has paid regular quarterly cash dividends for 78 consecutive years and has increased the regular dividend for 38 consecutive years.
Fiscal Year 2022 Outlook
The fiscal 2022 outlook is presented on an “organic” basis, therefore, it is not directly comparable to the previously presented outlook.
The current global economic and geopolitical uncertainties continue to create a challenging operating environment. Amid these uncertainties, we are optimistic in our ability to deliver strong full year results.
The outlook is as follows:
• With our strong year-to-date performance and consumer demand along with supply chain constraints continuing to ease enabling some rebuild of inventory, we expect organic net sales growth of 11% to 13% for the full year.
• We project the costs associated with supply chain disruptions and inflationary cost headwinds will continue to have a negative impact on our gross margin, largely offset by a modest positive impact from the removal of tariffs in the EU. Therefore, we continue to expect reported gross margin to be flat or slightly down for the full year compared to fiscal 2021.
• We expect our organic operating expenses, which include advertising and SG&A, to increase in the 7% to 9% range. We anticipate organic advertising expense to be slightly below our organic net sales growth.
• Based on the above expectations, we anticipate organic income growth of 12% to 16% for the full year.
• We continue to expect our fiscal 2022 effective tax rate to be in the range of approximately 22% to 23%.
Click here for full financial results.
Conference Call Details
Brown‑Forman will host a conference call to discuss these results at 10:00 a.m. (ET) today. All interested parties in the United States are invited to join the conference call by dialing 833-962-1472 and asking for the Brown‑Forman call. International callers should dial +1-442-268-1255. The company suggests that participants dial in 10 minutes in advance of the 10:00 a.m. (ET) start of the conference call. A live audio broadcast of the conference call, and the accompanying presentation slides, will also be available via Brown‑Forman’s Internet website, http://www.brown-forman.com/, through a link to “Investors/Events & Presentations.” A digital audio recording of the conference call and the presentation slides will also be posted on the website and will be available for at least 30 days following the conference call.
For over 150 years, Brown‑Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee RTDs, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, GlenDronach, Benriach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, Herradura, el Jimador, New Mix, Korbel, Sonoma‑Cutrer, Finlandia, Chambord, and Fords Gin. Brown‑Forman’s brands are supported by approximately 4,700 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.
Important Information on Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains statements, estimates, and projections that are “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “aspire,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “envision,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expectation,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “pursue,” “see,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar words indicate forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date we make them. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors (many beyond our control) that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or from our current expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:
• Our substantial dependence upon the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands
• Substantial competition from new entrants, consolidations by competitors and retailers, and other competitive activities, such as pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing, or free goods), marketing, category expansion, product introductions, or entry or expansion in our geographic markets or distribution networks
• Route-to-consumer changes that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or result in higher fixed costs
• Disruption of our distribution network or inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
• Changes in consumer preferences, consumption, or purchase patterns – particularly away from larger producers in favor of small distilleries or local producers, or away from brown spirits, our premium products, or spirits generally, and our ability to anticipate or react to them; further legalization of marijuana; shifts in consumer purchase practices; bar, restaurant, travel, or other on-premise declines; shifts in demographic or health and wellness trends; or unfavorable consumer reaction to new products, line extensions, package changes, product reformulations, or other product innovation
• Production facility, aging warehouse, or supply chain disruptions
• Imprecision in supply/demand forecasting
• Higher costs, lower quality, or unavailability of energy, water, raw materials, product ingredients, or labor
• Impact of health epidemics and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risk of the resulting negative economic impact and related governmental actions
• Unfavorable global or regional economic conditions, particularly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and related economic slowdowns or recessions, low consumer confidence, high unemployment, weak credit or capital markets, budget deficits, burdensome government debt, austerity measures, higher interest rates, higher taxes, political instability, higher inflation, deflation, lower returns on pension assets, or lower discount rates for pension obligations
• Product recalls or other product liability claims, product tampering, contamination, or quality issues
• Negative publicity related to our company, products, brands, marketing, executive leadership, employees, board of directors, family stockholders, operations, business performance, or prospects
• Failure to attract or retain key executive or employee talent
• Risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, business partnerships, or investments – such as acquisition integration, termination difficulties or costs, or impairment in recorded value
• Risks associated with being a U.S.-based company with a global business, including commercial, political, and financial risks; local labor policies and conditions; protectionist trade policies, or economic or trade sanctions, including additional retaliatory tariffs on American whiskeys and the effectiveness of our actions to mitigate the negative impact on our margins, sales, and distributors; compliance with local trade practices and other regulations; terrorism; and health pandemics
• Failure to comply with anti-corruption laws, trade sanctions and restrictions, or similar laws or regulations
• Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly a stronger U.S. dollar
• Changes in laws, regulatory measures, or governmental policies – especially those that affect the production, importation, marketing, labeling, pricing, distribution, sale, or consumption of our beverage alcohol products
• Tax rate changes (including excise, corporate, sales or value-added taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, import and export duties, and tariffs) or changes in related reserves, changes in tax rules or accounting standards, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
• Decline in the social acceptability of beverage alcohol in significant markets
• Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on availability of our beverage alcohol products
• Counterfeiting and inadequate protection of our intellectual property rights
• Significant legal disputes and proceedings, or government investigations
• Cyber breach or failure or corruption of our key information technology systems or those of our suppliers, customers, or direct and indirect business partners, or failure to comply with personal data protection laws
• Our status as a family “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules, and our dual-class share structure
For further information on these and other risks, please refer to our public filings, including the “Risk Factors” section of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
*As of the third quarter ended January 31, 2022, we changed certain non-GAAP financial measures that we have historically used. We will no longer report “underlying changes” in certain measures of the statements of operations; instead, we will now report “organic change” in certain measures of the statements of operations. As more fully described in “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in Note 2, “organic change” includes all of the non-GAAP adjustments that we have historically made in adjusting GAAP to “underlying change” results, except that “organic change” does not include an adjustment for “estimated net change in distributor inventories.”