Aiming to strengthen its organizational focus and making
optimum use of its resources in the huge Asia Pacific (APAC)
) has decided to split the operations of this region into two
parts. Beginning Nov 1, 2013, the company's Asia Pacific region
will be operational as Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia
region (ANZSEA) and the North Asia region (NA).
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As part of the restructuring efforts, the company has appointed
Michael McShane as the managing director, ANZSEA and Trevor Smith
as managing director, NA. McShane will spearhead operations from
Sydney, while Smith from Hong Kong.
Prior to this, McShane served as senior vice president, managing
director, Asia Pacific, stationed in Hong Kong. He has been
associated with the company for some time and possesses
considerable experience in Asian operations. Over this term with
Brown-Forman, he has occupied various positions, including
managing director, North Asia, and managing director, Australia.
He has also presided as the chairman of the Distilled Spirits
Industry Council of Australia and continues to be an active
member in industry meets across the Asia Pacific region.
On the other hand, the new NA managing director, Smith,
previously worked as vice president, director, finance, Asia
Pacific, based in Hong Kong. He also served as a significant
contributor to the APAC leadership team. During his tenure at
Brown-Forman, Smith has occupied numerous leadership positions,
including director of Internal Audit.
Additionally, the company stated that following the reformation,
Marshall Farrer, who is currently the managing director of
Australia, New Zealand, will go back to the company's
headquarters in Louisville, Ky. Farrer has successfully led the
company for four years at its second largest market measured on
the basis of net sales.
Brown-Forman, which competes with
) is one of the leading producers and distributors of premium
alcoholic beverages in the world and commands a strong portfolio
of globally-recognized brands. The company's portfolio consists
of more than 25 premium brands, including Jack Daniel's -the
flagship spirits brand - followed by Southern Comfort liqueur,
Canadian Mist whiskey, Finlandia vodka as well as Fetzer and
Korbel wine brands.
We remain impressed with the company's pricing strategy, product
innovation, and penetration into the emerging markets to boost
its operational performance and bolster its well-established
position in the market. We believe Brown-Forman's consistent
focus on developing its premium Jack Daniel's brand through
innovation and packaging changes has paid off, making it a
Apart from expanding the market share of its flagship Jack
Daniel's in developed and emerging markets, the company seeks to
expand the sphere of its other brands, such as Gentleman Jack,
Jack Daniel's Single Barrel and Jack Daniel's ready-to-drink
within the Jack Daniel's brand.
However, disappointing fiscal first-quarter 2014 earnings results
on the back of higher input costs and increase in operating
expenses have hurt investor sentiment. Therefore, Brown-Forman
currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
On a positive note, however, the company reaffirmed its
fiscal-2014 outlook, still projecting earnings in the range of
$2.80-$3.00 per share, a 9%-11% increase in operating income and
a high-single-digit rise in sales.
Other stocks worth considering in the alcoholic beverage industry
Constellation Brands Inc.
Boston Beer Co. Inc.
). Constellation Brands holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while
Boston Beer has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).