Jack Daniel's Maker Posts Higher 2nd-Qtr Profit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Liquor producer Brown-Forman says its second-quarter profit rose four-and-a-half percent. The company says surging international sales cushioned it from sluggish U.S. demand for its leading Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey and Southern Comfort brands.

The distiller also narrowed its profit forecast for the full fiscal year. Its shares fell $2 to $69.99 in afternoon trading today.

U.S. sales for its flagship Jack Daniel's brand fell slightly in the quarter. The company says this reflects larger trends in the spirits industry along with higher production costs and economic pressures on customers.

Brown-Forman chief executive Paul Varga says the company plans to stick with its pricing strategy, which has included a moderate yearly increase for Jack Daniel's, which is distilled in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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