Brown-Forman Corp Class B BF.B
Q3 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/06/2013

Operator: Good morning, my name is Holly and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Brown-Forman Third Quarter Fiscal 2013 Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

I would now like to turn today's conference over Jay Koval, Director of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Jason Koval - Director of IR: Thanks, Holly and good morning, everyone. I want to thank you for joining us today for Brown-Forman's 2013 third quarter earnings call. Joining me today are Paul Varga, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Don Berg, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; as well as welcome our new Chief Accounting Officer, Brian Fitzgerald.

This morning's conference call contains forward-looking statements based on our current expectations. Numerous risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected in these statements. Many of the factors that will determine future results are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. You should not place any undue reliance on any forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any of these statements whether due to new information future events or otherwise.

This morning we issued a press release containing our results for the fiscal 2013 third quarter. The release can be found on our website under the section titled Investor Relations. In the press release, we have listed a number of the risk factors that you should consider in conjunction with our forward-looking statements. Other significant risk factors are described in our Form 10-K, Form 8-K and Form 10-Q reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

During this call, we will be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures. These measures and the reasons management believes they provide useful information to investors regarding the Company's financial conditions and results of operations are contained in the press release.

With that, I will turn the call over to Don for his prepared remarks.

Don Berg - EVP and CFO: Thanks, Jay. Good morning, everyone. On today's third quarter earnings call, I plan on covering three topics. First I'll start with a review of our year-to-date results. Then I'll share a perspective on the three main factors that we believe have been fueling our outperformance. Then finally, I'll close with some thoughts on the fourth quarter and the updated fiscal 2013 outlook.

So let me start with my first topic, a review of our results over the first nine months of fiscal 2013. We are pleased to report year-to-date underlying sales growth of 8%. If you recall, our underlying sales growth in the first quarter came in at 10%, up this strong as a result of some retail buy-ins in advance of price increases.

Then the second quarter's underlying growth was 6%, a little light, as those inventories rebalanced. So for the first six months, we netted to an 8% underlying growth rate. Results in the third quarter were right in line with this first half trajectory with underlying sales also up 8%.

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