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STRONG BEVERAGE RESULTS IMPROVE BROWN-FORMAN'S EARNINGS

 LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BF.A BF.B) announced that net income for the third quarter rose 8 percent to $37.2 million or $1.35 per share, compared to $34.3 million or $1.24 per share in the year-ago period. Net income for the nine months ended January 31, 1993 was up 8 percent to $123.7 million or $4.48 per share, compared to $114.8 million or $4.15 per share during the same period last year.
 W.L. Lyons Brown, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, attributed Brown-Forman's improved year-to-date results to a strengthening of its wines and spirits business. Mr. Brown stated, "Virtually all of our important beverage brands are realizing higher sales volume this year. We are particularly encouraged by positive volume trends registered in the U.S. market, including the strong demand for Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails which was introduced throughout the U.S. this past year. We expect a solid increase in Brown-Forman's full year earnings based on these results, with growth from the company's core wines and spirits segment more than offsetting a sizable decline in our consumer durables business."
 For the nine months ended January 31, worldwide sales of the company's wines and spirits segment were up 15 percent compared to last year. In addition to an overall upturn experienced by Brown-Forman's major beverage brands in the U.S., domestic sales were increased by the August 1992 acquisition of Fetzer premium California wines. The company's largest spirit brands -- Jack Daniel's, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort and Early Times -- all registered higher year-to-date volume trends in the U.S. This year's domestic results have been further boosted by the very successful national introduction of Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails. Overseas, sales also continued to improve, largely due to double-digit growth of Jack Daniel's Black Label.
 Mr. Brown reported, however, that the consumer durables segment, which contributed about a fifth of the company's operating income last fiscal year, continued to experience weak results. In addition to poor consumer response to new product introductions from Lenox Collections, segment results were negatively affected by increased operating costs associated with competitive discounts, inventory reductions, and delayed realization of productivity gains anticipated from recent capital improvements at the company's china manufacturing facilities. Year-to-date earnings from consumer durables are significantly behind last year, and while the company expects fourth quarter comparisons to be very favorable, a sizable decline in full year segment operating income is still expected.
 Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products, including Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Canadian Mist, Southern Comfort, Korbel California Champagnes, Fetzer Vineyards California Wines, Lenox China and Crystal, Dansk International Designs, Gorham Silver, Crystal and China, and Hartmann Luggage.
 BROWN-FORMAN CORPORATION
 LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT
 (Expressed in thousands except per share amounts)
 THREE MONTHS ENDED
 JANUARY 31,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $426,267 378,924
 Operating Income $ 61,936 54,392
 Income Before Income Taxes $ 57,865 52,016
 Taxes on Income $ 20,625 17,676
 Net Income $ 37,240 34,340
 Earnings Per Share of Common Stock $ 1.35 1.24
 Average Shares of Common Stock 27,555 27,555
 Net Sales Less Excise Tax $353,222 313,523
 BROWN-FORMAN CORPORATION
 LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT
 (Expressed in thousands except per share amounts)
 NINE MONTHS ENDED
 JANUARY 31,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $1,288,299 1,149,945
 Operating Income $ 201,160 182,046
 Income Before Income Taxes $ 191,372 174,488
 Taxes on Income $ 67,702 59,649
 Net Income $ 123,670 114,839
 Earnings Per Share of Common Stock $ 4.48 4.15
 Average Shares of Common Stock 27,555 27,580
 Net Sales Less Excise Tax $1,072,413 953,754
 These figures have been prepared in accordance with the company's customary accounting practices and have not been audited.
 -0- 2/23/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Probus, Vice President, Corporate Development, Brown-Forman Corporation, 502-774-7441/
 (BF)


CO: Brown-Forman Corporation ST: Kentucky IN: FOD HOU SU: ERN

CM -- CH005 -- 9333 02/23/93 10:22 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 23, 1993
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