Company Quick10K Filing
Brown Forman
Price62.67 EPS2
Shares480 P/E35
MCap30,112 P/FCF73
Net Debt2,053 EBIT1,135
TEV32,165 TEV/EBIT28
TTM 2019-10-31, in MM, except price, ratios
10-K 2020-04-30 Filed 2020-06-19
10-Q 2020-01-31 Filed 2020-03-04
10-Q 2019-10-31 Filed 2019-12-05
10-Q 2019-07-31 Filed 2019-08-28
10-K 2019-04-30 Filed 2019-06-13
10-Q 2019-01-31 Filed 2019-03-06
10-Q 2018-10-31 Filed 2018-12-06
10-Q 2018-07-31 Filed 2018-08-29
10-K 2018-04-30 Filed 2018-06-13
10-Q 2018-01-31 Filed 2018-03-07
10-Q 2017-10-31 Filed 2017-12-06
10-Q 2017-07-31 Filed 2017-08-30
10-K 2017-04-30 Filed 2017-06-15
10-Q 2017-01-31 Filed 2017-03-07
10-Q 2016-10-31 Filed 2016-12-07
10-Q 2016-07-31 Filed 2016-08-31
10-K 2016-04-30 Filed 2016-06-16
10-Q 2016-01-31 Filed 2016-03-02
10-Q 2015-10-31 Filed 2015-12-02
10-Q 2015-07-31 Filed 2015-08-26
10-K 2015-04-30 Filed 2015-06-18
10-Q 2015-01-31 Filed 2015-03-05
10-Q 2014-10-31 Filed 2014-12-03
10-Q 2014-07-31 Filed 2014-08-28
10-K 2014-04-30 Filed 2014-06-20
10-Q 2014-01-31 Filed 2014-03-06
10-Q 2013-10-31 Filed 2013-12-04
10-Q 2013-07-31 Filed 2013-08-28
10-K 2013-04-30 Filed 2013-06-27
10-Q 2013-01-31 Filed 2013-03-06
10-Q 2012-10-31 Filed 2012-12-05
10-Q 2012-07-31 Filed 2012-09-05
10-K 2012-04-30 Filed 2012-06-27
10-Q 2012-01-31 Filed 2012-03-08
10-Q 2011-10-31 Filed 2011-12-09
10-Q 2011-07-31 Filed 2011-09-08
10-K 2011-04-30 Filed 2011-06-27
10-Q 2011-01-31 Filed 2011-03-09
10-Q 2010-10-31 Filed 2010-12-09
10-Q 2010-07-31 Filed 2010-09-02
10-K 2010-04-30 Filed 2010-06-25
10-Q 2010-01-31 Filed 2010-03-11
8-K 2020-06-17
8-K 2020-06-10
8-K 2020-06-09
8-K 2020-05-21
8-K 2020-03-04
8-K 2020-02-19
8-K 2019-12-05
8-K 2019-11-10
8-K 2019-09-11
8-K 2019-08-28
8-K 2019-07-25
8-K 2019-06-05
8-K 2019-04-25
8-K 2019-03-28
8-K 2019-03-06
8-K 2019-01-29
8-K 2018-12-05
8-K 2018-11-14
8-K 2018-08-29
8-K 2018-07-26
8-K 2018-07-13
8-K 2018-06-20
8-K 2018-06-06
8-K 2018-05-24
8-K 2018-05-14
8-K 2018-03-22
8-K 2018-03-21
8-K 2018-03-07
8-K 2015-08-26
8-K 2015-07-23
8-K 2015-06-24
8-K 2015-06-24
8-K 2015-06-03
8-K 2015-05-21
8-K 2015-03-25
8-K 2015-03-04

BFB 10K Annual Report

Part I
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for The Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16. Form 10 - K Summary
EX-4.1 descriptionofcapitalst.htm
EX-4.2 descriptionof1200notes.htm
EX-4.3 descriptionof2600notes.htm
EX-21 bfb-ex212020430x10kapr.htm
EX-23 bfb-ex232020430x10kapr.htm
EX-31.1 bfb-ex3112020430x10kap.htm
EX-31.2 bfb-ex3122020430x10kap.htm
EX-32 bfb-ex322020430x10kapr.htm

Brown Forman Earnings 2020-04-30

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow
10.08.06.04.02.00.02012201420172020
Assets, Equity
1.31.00.80.50.30.02012201420172020
Rev, G Profit, Net Income
0.60.30.1-0.2-0.4-0.72012201420172020
Ops, Inv, Fin

Document
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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended April 30, 2020
OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                    to                     

Commission File Number 001-00123
BROWN-FORMAN CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter) 
Delaware
61-0143150
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(IRS Employer Identification No.)
850 Dixie Highway
 
Louisville,
Kentucky
40210
(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (502585-1100
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Class A Common Stock (voting), $0.15 par value
BFA
New York Stock Exchange
Class B Common Stock (nonvoting), $0.15 par value
BFB
New York Stock Exchange
1.200% Notes due 2026
BF26
New York Stock Exchange
2.600% Notes due 2028
BF28
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.      Yes       No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.      Yes       No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.      Yes       No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).      Yes       No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
 
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes       No  
The aggregate market value, as of the last business day of the most recently completed second fiscal quarter, of the voting and nonvoting equity held by nonaffiliates of the registrant was approximately $22,100,000,000.
The number of shares outstanding for each of the registrant’s classes of Common Stock on May 31, 2020, was:
Class A Common Stock (voting), $0.15 par value
169,039,764

Class B Common Stock (nonvoting), $0.15 par value
309,196,858

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Proxy Statement of Registrant for use in connection with the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held July 30, 2020, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.

1


 
Table of Contents
 
 
 
Page
PART I
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
PART II
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
PART III
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
PART IV
 
Item 15.
Item 16.



2


Forward-Looking Statement Information. Certain matters discussed in this report, including the information presented in Part II under “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contain 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, those described in Part I under “Item 1A. Risk Factors” and those described from time to time in our future reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including:

Impact of health epidemics and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting negative economic impact and related governmental actions
Risks associated with being a U.S.-based company with global operations, 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 spirits 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, sales, VAT, tariffs, duties, corporate, individual income, dividends, or capital gains) or changes in related reserves, changes in tax rules or accounting standards, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
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
Dependence upon the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands
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; legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread basis; shifts in consumer purchase practices from traditional to e-commerce retailers; 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
Decline in the social acceptability of beverage alcohol in significant markets
Production facility, aging warehouse, or supply chain disruption
Imprecision in supply/demand forecasting
Higher costs, lower quality, or unavailability of energy, water, raw materials, product ingredients, labor, or finished goods
Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on availability of our beverage alcohol products
Competitors’ and retailers’ consolidation or 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
Inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
Risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, business partnerships, or investments – such as acquisition integration, termination difficulties or costs, or impairment in recorded value
Counterfeiting and inadequate protection of our intellectual property rights
Product recalls or other product liability claims, product tampering, contamination, or quality issues
Significant legal disputes and proceedings, or government investigations
Cyber breach or failure or corruption of key information technology systems, or failure to comply with personal data protection laws
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
Our status as a family “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules, and our dual-class share structure

3


Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information. Certain matters discussed in this report, including the information presented in Part II under “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” include measures that are not measures of financial performance under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These non-GAAP measures should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for any measure derived in accordance with GAAP, and also may be inconsistent with similarly titled measures presented by other companies. In Part II under “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” we present the reasons we use these measures under the heading “Non-GAAP Financial Measures,” and we reconcile these measures to the most closely comparable GAAP measures under the heading “Results of Operations – Year-Over-Year Comparisons.”
PART I
Item 1. Business
Overview
Brown-Forman Corporation (the “Company,” “Brown-Forman,” “we,” “us,” or “our” below) was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware in 1933, successor to a business founded in 1870 as a partnership and later incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1901. We primarily manufacture, distill, bottle, import, export, market, and sell a wide variety of alcoholic beverages under recognized brands. We employ approximately 4,800 people (excluding individuals that work on a part-time or temporary basis) on six continents, including approximately 1,200 people in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, home of our world headquarters. We are the largest American-owned spirits and wine company with global reach. We are a “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules because the Brown family owns more than 50% of our voting stock. Taking into account ownership of shares of our non-voting stock, the Brown family also controls more than 50% of the economic ownership in Brown-Forman.
For a discussion of recent developments, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Executive Summary.”

4


Brands
Beginning in 1870 with Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky – our founding brand – and spanning the generations since, we have built a portfolio of more than 40 spirit, ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail, and wine brands that includes some of the best-known and most loved trademarks in our industry. The most important brand in our portfolio is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, which was ranked in the 2019 Interbrand “Best Global Brands” as the most valuable global spirits brand in the world and the third most valuable beverage alcohol brand. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey is the largest American whiskey brand in the world and the fourth-largest premium spirits brand of any kind, according to Impact Databank’s “Top 100 Premium Spirits Brands Worldwide” list. Among the top five premium spirits brands on the list, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey was the only one to grow volume in each of the past five calendar years. Our other leading global brands on the Worldwide Impact list are Finlandia, which is the tenth-largest-selling vodka; Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, which is the second-largest-selling flavored whiskey; and el Jimador, which is the fifth-largest-selling tequila. Woodford Reserve and Old Forester were once again selected for the Impact “Hot Brand,”1 list marking seven and two consecutive years on the list, respectively.
Principal Brands
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
 
Korbel California Brandy5
Jack Daniel’s RTDs2
 
el Jimador Tequilas
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
 
el Jimador New Mix RTDs
Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey
 
Herradura Tequilas6
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire
 
Sonoma-Cutrer California Wines
Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection3
 
Canadian Mist Canadian Whisky7 
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye
 
GlenDronach Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select
 
BenRiach Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey
 
Glenglassaugh Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack
 
Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond
 
Old Forester Whiskey Row Series
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple4
 
Old Forester Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon
 
Chambord Liqueur
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked
 
Early Times Kentucky Whisky and Bourbon7
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Rye Whiskey

 
Pepe Lopez Tequila
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Malt Whiskey
 
Antiguo Tequila
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey4
 
Slane Irish Whiskey
Finlandia Vodkas

 
Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Bourbon
Korbel California Champagnes5
 
Fords Gin8
1Impact Databank, March 2020.
2Jack Daniel’s RTDs includes Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s & Diet Cola, Jack & Ginger, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, Gentleman Jack & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Double Jack, Jack Daniel’s American Serve, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey RTD, Jack Daniel’s Berry, Jack Daniel’s Cider, and Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade.
3The Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection includes Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye, and Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel 100 Proof.
4New brands launched in fiscal 2020.
5Korbel is not an owned brand. We sell Korbel products under contract in the United States and other select markets.
6Herradura Tequilas comprise all expressions of Herradura including Herradura Ultra.
7Entered into an agreement on June 12, 2020 to sell these brands to Sazerac Company
8Acquired in fiscal 2020.
See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Fiscal 2020 Brand Highlights” for brand performance details.
Our vision in marketing is to be the best brand-builder in the industry. We build our brands by investing in platforms that we believe create enduring connections with our consumers. These platforms cover a wide spectrum of activities, including media advertising (TV, radio, print, outdoor, and, increasingly, digital and social), consumer and trade promotions, sponsorships, and visitors’ center programs at our distilleries and our winery. We expect to grow our sales and profits by consistently delivering creative, responsible marketing programs that drive brand recognition, brand trial, brand loyalty – and, ultimately, consumer demand around the world.

5


Markets
We sell our products in over 170 countries around the world. The United States, our most important market, accounted for 50% of our net sales in fiscal 2020 and the other 50% were outside of the United States. The following represents the percentage of total net sales for our largest markets for the most recent three fiscal years below:
Percentage of Total Net Sales by Geographic Area
 
Year ended April 30
2018
2019
2020
United States
47
%
47
%
50
%
United Kingdom
6
%
6
%
5
%
Germany
5
%
5
%
5
%
Australia
5
%
5
%
5
%
Mexico
5
%
5
%
5
%
Other
32
%
32
%
30
%
TOTAL
100
%
100
%
100
%
Note: Totals may differ due to rounding

 
 
 
For details about net sales in our largest markets, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Fiscal 2020 Market Highlights.” For details about our reportable segment and for additional geographic information about net sales and long-lived assets, see Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” For details on risks related to our global operations, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
Distribution Network and Customers
Our distribution network, or our “route to consumer” (RTC), varies depending on (a) the laws and regulatory framework for trade in beverage alcohol by market, (b) our assessment of a market’s long-term attractiveness and competitive dynamics, (c) the relative profitability of distribution options available to us, (d) the structure of the retail and wholesale trade in a market, and (e) our portfolio’s development stage in a market. As these factors change, we evaluate our RTC strategy and, from time to time, adapt our model.
In the United States, which generally prohibits spirits and wine manufacturers from selling their products directly to consumers, we sell our brands either to distributors or to state governments (in states that directly control alcohol sales) that then sell to retail customers and consumers.
Outside the United States, we use a variety of RTC models, which can be grouped into three categories: owned distribution, partner, and government-controlled markets. We own and operate distribution companies in Australia, Brazil, Czechia, France, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Spain, and Turkey. Effective May 1, 2020, we launched our own distribution companies in Thailand and the United Kingdom. In these owned-distribution markets, and in a large portion of the Travel Retail channel, we sell our products directly to retailers or wholesalers. In many other markets, including Russia, Japan, Italy, and South Africa, we rely on third parties to distribute our brands, generally under fixed-term distribution contracts. In Canada, we sell our products to provincial governments.
We believe that our customer relationships are good and our exposure to concentrations of credit risk is limited due to the diverse geographic areas covered by our operations and our thorough evaluation of each customer. In 2020, our two largest customers were Republic National Distributing Company and Breakthru Beverage Group, which accounted for approximately 18% and 13% of consolidated net sales, respectively. Although the loss of any large customer for an extended period of time would negatively impact our net sales and operating income, we do not anticipate this happening due to consumer demand for our products and our relationships with our customers. Collectively, these two customers distribute our brands across most of the United States. No other customer accounted for 10% or more of our consolidated net sales in 2020.
Seasonality
Holiday buying makes the fourth calendar quarter the peak season for our business. Approximately 30% of our net sales for fiscal 2018, fiscal 2019, and fiscal 2020 were in the fourth calendar quarter of each year.

6


Competition
Trade information indicates that we are one of the largest global suppliers of premium spirits. According to International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR), for calendar year 2019, the ten largest global spirits companies controlled just over 20% of the total spirits sold around the world (on a volume basis). While we believe that the overall market environment offers considerable growth opportunities for us, our industry is, and will remain, highly competitive. We compete against many global, regional, and local brands in a variety of categories of beverage alcohol, but our brands compete primarily in the industry’s premium-and-higher price points. Our competitors include major global spirits and wine companies, such as Bacardi Limited, Becle S.A.B. de C.V., Beam Suntory Inc., Davide Campari-Milano S.p.A., Diageo PLC, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, Pernod Ricard SA, and Rémy Cointreau. In addition, particularly in the United States, we compete with national companies and craft spirit brands, many of which entered the market in the last few years.
Brand recognition, brand provenance, quality of product and packaging, availability, flavor profile, and price affect consumers’ choices among competing brands in our industry. Other factors also influence consumers, including advertising, promotions, merchandising at the point of sale, expert or celebrity endorsement, social media and word of mouth, and the timing and relevance of new product introductions. Although some competitors have substantially greater resources than we do, we believe that our competitive position is strong, particularly as it relates to brand awareness, quality, availability, and relevance of new product introductions.
Ingredients and Other Supplies
The principal raw materials used in manufacturing and packaging our distilled spirits, liqueurs, RTD products, and wines are shown in the table below.
Principal Raw Materials
Distilled Spirits
 
Liqueurs
 
RTD Products
 
Wines
 
Packaging
Agave
 
Flavorings
 
Flavorings
 
Grapes
 
Aluminum cans
Barley
 
Neutral spirits
 
Malt
 
Wood
 
Cartons
Corn
 
Sugar
 
Neutral spirits
 
 
 
Closures
Malted barley
 
Water
 
Sugar
 
 
 
Glass bottles
Rye
 
Whiskey
 
Tequila
 
 
 
Labels
Sugar
 
Wine
 
Water
 
 
 
PET1 bottles
Water
 
 
 
Whiskey
 
 
 
 
Wood
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is a polymer used in non-glass containers.
Currently, none of these raw materials are in short supply, but shortages could occur. From time to time, our agricultural ingredients (agave, barley, corn, grapes, malted barley, rye, and wood) could be adversely affected by weather and other forces out of our control that might constrain supply or reduce our inventory below desired levels for optimum production.
Whiskeys, certain tequilas, and certain other distilled spirits must be aged. Because we must schedule production years in advance to meet projected future demand, our inventories of these products may be larger in relation to sales and total assets than in many other businesses.
For details on risks related to the unavailability of raw materials and the inherent uncertainty in forecasting supply and demand, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
Intellectual Property
Our intellectual property includes trademarks, copyrights, proprietary packaging and trade dress, proprietary manufacturing technologies, know-how, and patents. Our intellectual property, especially our trademarks, is essential to our business. We register our trademarks broadly around the world, focusing primarily on where we sell or expect to sell our products. We protect our intellectual property rights vigorously but fairly. We have licensed some of our trademarks to third parties for use with services or on products other than alcoholic beverages, which enhances the awareness and protection of our brands.
For details on risks related to the protection of our intellectual property, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” For details on our most important brands, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Results of Operations – Fiscal 2020 Brand Highlights.”

7


Regulatory Environment
Federal, state, local, and foreign authorities regulate how we produce, store, transport, distribute, market, and sell our products. Some countries and local jurisdictions prohibit or restrict the marketing or sale of distilled spirits in whole or in part.
In the United States, at the federal level, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury regulates the spirits and wine industry with respect to the production, blending, bottling, labeling, advertising, sales, and transportation of beverage alcohol. Similar regulatory regimes exist at the state level and in most non-U.S. jurisdictions where we sell our products. In addition, beverage alcohol products are subject to customs duties, excise taxes, or sales taxes in many countries, including taxation at the federal, state, and local level in the United States.
Many countries set their own distilling and maturation requirements; for example, under U.S. federal and state regulations, bourbon and Tennessee whiskeys must be aged in new charred oak barrels; we typically age our whiskeys three to six years. Canadian whisky must be manufactured in Canada in compliance with Canadian laws. Mexican authorities regulate the production and bottling of tequilas; they mandate minimum aging periods for extra anejo (three years), anejo (one year), and reposado (two months). Irish whiskey must be matured at least three years in a wood cask, such as oak, on the island of Ireland. Scotch whisky must be matured in oak casks for at least three years in Scotland. We comply with all of the above laws and regulations.
Our operations are subject to various environmental protection statutes and regulations, and our policy is to comply with them.

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Integrated Strategy

strategyimage.jpg
For 150 years, Brown-Forman and the Brown family have been committed to driving sustainable growth and preserving Brown-Forman as a thriving, family-controlled, independent company. The image on the left illustrates our purpose, “Enriching Life,” and our ambition, “Nothing Better in the Market,” surrounded by the values that have guided us for decades: integrity, respect, trust, teamwork, and excellence. In addition to these guiding principles, our success is dependent on our strategic priorities, as illustrated in the image on the right: the quality of our brands within our portfolio, our geographic diversification, the caliber of our people, and the investments we make to grow our business. Moreover, an integrated lens recognizes that many aspects of our company contribute to creating value for our shareholders over the long term, including our commitment to sustainability, responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and supporting and working to solve the health, education, and social inequities, particularly the racial divide, in the communities where we live and work.
In the face of unprecedented business conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important we look to our values and long-term strategy to guide us, while leveraging our agility to quickly adapt to changing business conditions. We have faced and overcome formidable challenges over the span of a century and a half: two world wars, United States Prohibition, the Great Depression, recessions, and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigating unpredictable economies, weather, market whims, and many more variables have simply been part of the long-term nature of our business. While the way we work has changed and our business has been affected, we continue to prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of our employees and communities and advance our brands and business despite these challenges.
For the second consecutive year, we are integrating our Corporate Responsibility and Annual Reports not only to provide a more holistic view of Brown-Forman, but also to reflect who we are and our culture. Our integrated report combines our responsibility and sustainability information alongside financial data to provide a more comprehensive view of our business results.
Portfolio
We seek to build brands responsibly and create shareholder value by delivering strong and sustainable growth, solid margins, and high returns on invested capital. Given our expectation to continue to grow in size and scale, we are focusing on building brands that can be meaningful for our company and our consumers over the longer term. One of our priorities is to grow our premium spirits portfolio organically and through innovation. Opportunistically and thoughtfully, we also consider acquisitions and partnerships that will enhance our portfolio and our capacity to deliver meaningful growth, attractive margins, and acceptable returns.
It is important to us that we pursue brand growth while actively promoting a positive drinking culture to enhance consumer experiences with our brands. We balance this work while holding steady to our commitment to market our products responsibly. Regulation of our industry is not new, and external pressure from the World Health Organization and other health bodies has grown over time. We uphold high standards of self-regulation by adhering to industry guidelines on responsible marketing and advertising. We work both independently and with industry organizations to promote alcohol responsibility, such as the

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International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (responsibility.org) in the United States, The Portman Group in the United Kingdom, DrinkWise in Australia, and FISAC in Mexico.
The Jack Daniel’s family of brands, led by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey (JDTW), is our most valuable asset – the engine of our overall financial performance and the foundation of our leadership position in the American whiskey category.1 We strive to strengthen the brand’s leadership, and will always work to keep JDTW relevant to consumers worldwide, while pursuing the abundant opportunities to grow the Jack Daniel’s family of brands across markets, premium and above price points, channels, and consumer groups. Product innovation continues to contribute meaningfully to our performance. Different Jack Daniel’s expressions bring new consumers to the franchise, including Honey (2011), Fire (2015), Rye (2018), and our most recent launch, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple (2020), which individually and collectively add great value to the Company and our consumers.
In addition to the leadership of our Jack Daniel’s family of brands, we expect strong growth around the world from our other whiskey brands, particularly Woodford Reserve and Old Forester. Woodford Reserve is the leading super-premium American whiskey globally1, surpassing one million nine-liter cases during fiscal 2020, and is poised for continued growth as interest in bourbon increases around the world. Old Forester has continued its return to prominence in the United States and in select international markets through its unparalleled taste and quality. Innovation has had a role in premiumizing both of these brands, including the success of high-end expressions, such as Woodford Double Oaked and the Old Forester Whiskey Row Series.
Outside of our American whiskey brands, our portfolio is well positioned in other high-growth categories with meaningful premium brands and a focus on accelerating our super-premium portfolio. Our tequila portfolio is led by two brands steeped in Mexican heritage, Herradura and el Jimador. Despite cyclical cost pressures resulting from the unprecedented cost of agave, we remain pleased with the growth of our tequila business in Mexico and the United States over the past decade and the long-term growth prospects of this business globally. GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, and Slane are well positioned in the categories of Scotch and Irish whiskey and are expected to become meaningful contributors over the longer term. Lastly, we believe our newest acquisition in the summer of 2019, Fords Gin, provides superior access to the fast-growing premium gin category, particularly in the United States, and we look to grow this brand in key gin markets globally.
Part of building all of our brands and engaging our employees is through education, including resources and training on alcohol responsibility – what it means, how to be a good host/hostess, respecting the choice not to drink, preventing drunk/drink driving, and providing support for those in recovery. Our internal campaign, Pause, launched in the summer of 2019, seeks to elevate responsibility, raise awareness, and inspire more action from our employees. Our Chambord liqueur brand, through a partnership with the nonprofit group Alteristic, offers training to bartenders and employees on bystander intervention to help prevent sexual assault.
Geography
The United States remains our largest market, and its continued growth is important to our long-term success. We expect to foster this growth by emphasizing fast-growing spirits categories, continued product and packaging innovation, and brand building within growing consumer segments, including increasing emphasis on inclusive marketing.
Outside the United States, we continue to increase our competitiveness through improved routes to consumer, with the most recent example being the establishment of our owned distribution organizations in the United Kingdom and Thailand in May 2020. The more direct connection with customers and consumers enabled through owned distribution in markets such as Australia, France, Germany, and now the United Kingdom and Thailand is an important part of our strategic growth. In addition, we expect increasing significant contributions to our long-term future growth from emerging markets including Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Southeast Asia.
People
As we work to increase our brands’ relevance and appeal to diverse consumer groups around the world, we believe a diversity of experiences and mindsets within our own workforce is essential. In the summer of 2019, we unveiled Many Spirits, One Brown-Forman, our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) 2030 Strategy aimed at creating a foundation from which to build a more diverse workforce and inclusive culture. Brown-Forman’s vision for D&I is to create an environment where leveraging diversity and inclusion occurs naturally, giving us a sustainable marketplace advantage. We have set gender and race ambitions to have at least 40 percent female senior leaders globally and 25 percent people of color in the United States by 2030. We anticipate expanding this work to other elements of diversity in the future. For the tenth year in a row, we earned a perfect score in the Corporate


1IWSR, 2019 data.
 

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Equality Index1, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
While we have had a long-standing commitment to cultivate a diverse and inclusive culture, we know we must be better and do better to bring about sustainable change for our Black colleagues and communities. Racism is a global problem, and there are no easy, quick, or simple solutions for the systemic challenges we face as a society. We are hopeful that recent times will be a catalyst for greater awareness, conversations, and positive actions, specifically those that explore how we live our value of respect, how we identify and eliminate bias in ourselves, and how we continue to create an inclusive environment and relationships that foster allyship. Our company leaders have re-committed to a renewed emphasis on allyship, encouraging discussions about race, allyship, and personal D&I journeys. We have publicly committed to specific actions and to making progress as individuals and a global organization, within our industry and local community, and through the influence of our brand and corporate voice2.
One of the main drivers of an inclusive culture is the continued growth and leadership of our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), including our ninth and newest group, EAST (Embracing Asian Societies and Traditions), established in the summer of 2019. We believe ERGs are instrumental in enriching our company’s culture, and our employees experience this by supporting development and engagement of our diverse workforce, driving cultural awareness and competency across the organization, and enabling authentic engagement with our consumers. Our ERGs also create safe spaces for our employees of specific characteristics and their allies to connect with, support, and advocate for one another.
We know that this strong employee culture and our commitment to the communities where we live and work also helps foster a sense of engagement among our employees. In fact, our Employee Engagement and Enablement survey results from the fall of 2019 reaffirmed what we have long known – our employees are highly engaged, highly enabled, and highly committed to our core values of integrity, respect, trust, teamwork, and excellence. In addition to this internal affirmation, we have received numerous external accolades, including being named a “Great Place to Work” in Brazil, France, Mexico, and Spain.
Investment
One thing we have learned over a century and a half is that long-term success requires investment and a mindset of sustainability. We understand the need to invest in our brands, production facilities, distillery homeplace and visitor centers, and aging inventory. We also understand the importance of investing in our people, communities, and the environment. We recognize that climate change is a business issue with risks and opportunities. As such, we are committed to actions that will ensure the long-term health of both the planet and our business. One example of our long-term focus is our investment in renewable energy. Our wind power project, which became operational in April 2020, provides a renewable energy source that we expect will offset more than 90% of our electricity usage in the United States. This will enable us to fully achieve our greenhouse gas target, established in 2013, of cutting our absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2023, from a 2012 baseline. In order to manage water risk, we have completed Source Vulnerability Assessments to evaluate watersheds we operate in that are considered at-risk or business critical. Following the assessments, we have begun to develop programs to address the risk. We continue to make progress toward our goal of sending zero-waste to landfill for all of our owned facilities by the end of the 2020 calendar year. By the end the 2019 calendar year, we achieved zero-waste at 14 of our owned facilities. In total, Brown-Forman facilities divert 99.7% of waste from landfill. Although our largest facilities have achieved zero-waste and thus push our total to meet our goal, we are still working to improve some facilities that have not yet achieved zero-waste. Finally, recognizing the importance of demonstrating leadership at the executive level, we also appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer role, to engage with our Board of Directors as well as the Brown-Forman / Brown Family Shareholders Committee.
We believe we are better positioned than ever to deliver exceptional products to our loyal consumers around the world. We have a highly capable and engaged workforce. We have developed brand-building capabilities by equipping our teams with the training and tools necessary to win in an increasingly data-driven digital global marketplace. In the fall of 2019, we announced that Energy BBDO would be our new global creative agency of record for the majority of our global brand portfolio, including the Jack Daniel’s family of brands, Woodford Reserve, Herradura, el Jimador, and Old Forester. This relationship is expected to bring new energy and perspective to the portfolio that we believe will enable us to make meaningful connections with consumers as we continue to build our brands.
Community Relations
In addition to the investments we make in our employees, we believe it is vital that we give back to the communities that support both our employees and our company by thoughtfully deploying our time, talent, and resources. We have been a proud

1Human Rights Campaign 2020 Corporate Equality Index at www.hrc.org/cei
2Brown-Forman Be Better, Do Better at www.brown-forman.com/be_better_do_better

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corporate citizen of our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky for our entire 150 year history. Our expanded focus and commitment to the neighborhood around our corporate campus, while local, meets this call to be the best neighbor we can be, an ambition we strive for wherever we operate. We made a $2 million donation to the Republic Bank Foundation YMCA in west Louisville in fiscal 2019, which seeks to expand health and wellness resources to an underserved part of our community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we donated nearly $2 million to relief efforts in the United States and other locations where we work.
We also seek to expand our civic engagement into additional Brown-Forman global office locations, allowing those employees closest to the needs of their communities to decide how to invest their charitable-giving resources. We leverage our key community relations partners to stay informed of collaborative opportunities in the communities where we work and live, and to shape our charitable giving strategy to meet the essential needs of the communities that sustain us. We provide charitable donations and our employees volunteer throughout our communities, including 130 serving on nonprofit boards of directors. The Brown-Forman Foundation (the Foundation) was created in fiscal 2018 with the goal of helping fund our ongoing philanthropic endeavors. The Foundation’s earnings will provide a consistent source of revenue for charitable giving independent of our annual earnings. We work to partner with organizations that support our key focus areas: enhancing arts and cultural living, ensuring essential living standards, and empowering responsible and sustainable living.
Having a long-term-focused, committed, and engaged shareholder base, anchored by the Brown family, gives us an important strategic advantage, particularly in a business with aged products and multi-generational brands committed to corporate responsibility and our deeply held values. Recognizing the strong cash-generating capacity and the capital efficiency of our business, we will continue to pursue top-tier shareholder return through shareholder-friendly capital allocation and socially and environmentally conscious investments to fuel long-term growth.

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Employees and Executive Officers
As of April 30, 2020, we employed approximately 4,800 people worldwide (approximately 2,600 in the United States), excluding individuals that work on a part-time or temporary basis. This includes approximately 14% of our U.S. employees that are represented by a union. We believe our employee relations are good.
Information About Our Executive Officers
The following persons served as executive officers as of June 19, 2020:
Name
Age
Principal Occupation and Business Experience
Lawson E. Whiting
51
President and Chief Executive Officer since 2019. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from October 2017 to December 2018. Executive Vice President and Chief Brands and Strategy Officer from 2015 to 2017. Senior Vice President and Chief Brands Officer from 2013 to 2015. Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Western Europe from 2011 to 2013. Vice President and Finance Director for Western Europe from 2010 to 2011. Vice President and Finance Director for North America from 2009 to 2010.
Jane C. Morreau
61
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2014. Senior Vice President, Chief Production Officer, and Head of Information Technology from 2013 to 2014. Senior Vice President and Director of Financial Management, Accounting, and Technology from 2008 to 2013.
Matthew E. Hamel
60
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary since 2007.
Alejandro “Alex” Alvarez
52
Senior Vice President, Chief Production and Sustainability Officer since 2014. Vice President and General Manager for Brown-Forman Tequila Mexico Operations from 2008 to 2014.
Matias Bentel
45
Senior Vice President and Chief Brands Officer since January 2020. Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands from August 2018 to January 2020. Vice President and General Manager of Mexico from January 2016 to August 2018. Vice President Latin America Marketing and Chief of Staff from October 2009 to January 2016.

Kelli N. Brown
50
Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer since August 2018. Vice President and Director Finance (North America Region) from 2015 to August 2018. Director NAR Division Finance (North America Region) from 2013 to 2015. Director Business Planning and Analytics (North America Region) from 2012 to 2013.
Ralph E. de Chabert
73
Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Inclusion and Global Community Relations Officer since March 2019. Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer from December 2007 to February 2019.
Kirsten M. Hawley
50
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Corporate Communications Officer since March 2019. Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer from February 2015 to February 2019. Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources Business Partnerships from 2013 to 2015. Vice President and Director of Organization and Leader Development from 2011 to 2013. Assistant Vice President and Director of Employee Engagement from 2009 to 2011.
John V. Hayes
60
Senior Vice President, President, U.S.A. and Canada since June 2018. Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of Brown-Forman Brands from February 2015 to June 2018. Senior Vice President, Managing Director Jack Daniel’s from 2011 to 2015. Senior Vice President, Managing Director Herradura from 2007 to 2011.
Thomas Hinrichs
58
Senior Vice President, President, International Division since June 2018. Senior Vice President and President for Europe, North Asia, and ANZSEA from February 2015 to June 2018. Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Europe from 2013 to 2015. Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Greater Europe and Africa from 2006 to 2013.
Available Information
Our website address is www.brown-forman.com. Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and any amendments to these reports are available free of charge on our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file those reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The information provided on our website is not part of this report, and is therefore not incorporated by reference into this report or any other filing we make with the SEC, unless that information is otherwise specifically incorporated by reference.
On our website, we have posted our Code of Conduct that applies to all our directors and employees, and our Code of Ethics that applies specifically to our senior financial officers. If we amend or waive any of the provisions of our Code of Conduct or our Code of Ethics applicable to our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, or principal accounting officer that relates to any element of the definition of “code of ethics” enumerated in Item 406(b) of Regulation S-K under the Securities Act of 1934 Act, as amended, we intend to disclose these actions on our website. We have also posted on our website our Corporate Governance Guidelines and the charters of our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Corporate Governance and

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Nominating Committee, and Executive Committee of our Board of Directors. Copies of these materials are also available free of charge by writing to our Secretary, 850 Dixie Highway, Louisville, Kentucky 40210 or emailing Secretary@b-f.com.
Item 1A. Risk Factors

We believe the following discussion identifies the most significant risks and uncertainties that could adversely affect our business. If any of the following risks were actually to occur, our business, results of operations, cash flows, or financial condition could be materially and adversely affected. Additional risks not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, could also materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations, cash flows, or financial condition.
Our business faces various risks related to health epidemics and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic and similar outbreaks, which could materially and adversely affect our business, our operations, our cash flows, and our financial results.
Our business, operations, cash flows, and financial results could be negatively impacted by health epidemics, pandemics, and similar outbreaks. The COVID-19 pandemic could have negative impacts, such as (i) a global or U.S. recession or other economic crisis; (ii) credit and capital markets volatility (and access to these markets, including by our suppliers and customers); (iii) significant volatility in demand for our products, including our premium and super-premium products; (iv) changes in accessibility to our products due to illness, quarantines, “stay at home” orders, travel restrictions, retail, restaurant, bar, and hotel closures, social distancing requirements, and other government action; (v) changes in behavior and preferences, including trading down to lower-priced products; and (vi) disruptions in our manufacturing operations, or in our distribution and supply chain. Furthermore, we have been impacted in markets where, in connection with other government actions taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, liquor sales have been restricted or banned outright such as in the state of Pennsylvania in the United States, and in South Africa, India, and other Asian countries. In addition, we may incur increased costs and otherwise be negatively affected if a significant portion of our workforce (or the workforces within our distribution or supply chain) is unable to work or work effectively, including because of illness, unavailability of personal protective equipment, quarantines, “stay at home” orders, social distancing requirements, other government action, facility closures, or other restrictions.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic depends on factors beyond our knowledge or control, including the duration and severity of the outbreak and actions taken to contain its spread and mitigate the public health effects and its short- and long-term impacts on the economy, unemployment, consumer confidence, and the financial health of our distributors, customers, and suppliers. At this time, we cannot predict with certainty the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business or our future financial or operational results; however, the impact could be material over time. For further discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business and financial results, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Significant Developments - COVID-19.”
Our global business is subject to commercial, political, and financial risks.
Our products are sold in more than 170 countries; accordingly, we are subject to risks associated with doing business globally, including commercial, political, and financial risks. In addition, we are subject to potential business disruption caused by military conflicts; potentially unstable governments or legal systems; civil or political upheaval or unrest; local labor policies and conditions; possible expropriation, nationalization, or confiscation of assets; problems with repatriation of foreign earnings; economic or trade sanctions; closure of markets to imports; anti-American sentiment; terrorism or other types of violence in or outside the United States; and health pandemics (such as COVID-19). If shipments of our products - particularly Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey - to our global markets were to experience significant disruption due to these risks or for other reasons, it could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
For example, in 2018, the United States imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum. In response, a number of countries imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, including on our American whiskey products. Such retaliatory tariffs, which remain in place, have negatively affected our results of operations through lower net sales and higher cost of sales. Any further deterioration of economic relations between the United States and other countries or any increase in tariffs, custom duties or other restrictions or barriers on imports and exports could result in the limited availability of our products and prompt consumers to seek alternative products or in an increase in the price of our products and to the extent that we absorb the costs of tariffs, result in lower net sales or higher costs of sales. For example, the European Union plans the doubling of current retaliatory tariffs by June 2021 if there is no resolution of the economic relations with the United States. Furthermore, uncertainty related to the future of the European Union may affect our business and financial performance in Europe. On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union (Brexit), and, until a trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union is finalized, we face economic and political uncertainty related to the negotiation of any such successor trading arrangement as well as volatility in exchange rates, risk to supply chains across the European Union, restrictions on the mobility of employees and consumers, or changes to customs duties, tariffs, or industry specific requirements and regulations. In addition, any new trade barriers, sanctions, tariffs, or any

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retaliatory measures in response to the foregoing could materially and adversely affect our operations. Our success will depend, in part, on our ability to overcome the challenges we encounter with respect to these risks and other factors affecting U.S. companies with global operations.
A failure to comply with anti-corruption laws, trade sanctions and restrictions, or similar laws or regulations may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.
We are a global company that markets and sells our products in over 170 countries. Some of the countries where we do business have a higher risk of corruption than others. While we are committed to doing business in accordance with applicable anti-corruption laws, trade sanctions and restrictions, and other similar laws and regulations, along with our Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, and our other policies, we remain subject to the risk that an employee, or one of our many business partners, may take action determined to be in violation of international trade, money laundering, anti-corruption, or other laws, sanctions, or regulations, including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, the U.K. Bribery Act 2010, or equivalent local laws. Because the COVID-19 pandemic has so negatively impacted local economies, government intervention in local economies and businesses has increased, which in turn can create elevated risk and opportunity for corruption. Any determination that our operations or activities are not in compliance with applicable laws or regulations, particularly those related to anti-corruption and international trade, could result in investigations, interruption of business, loss of business partner relationships, suspension or termination of licenses and permits (our own or those of our partners), imposition of fines, legal or equitable sanctions, negative publicity, and management distraction. Further, our continued compliance with applicable anti-corruption or other laws or regulations, our Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics for Senior Financial Officers, and our other policies could result in higher operating costs.
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar could have a material adverse effect on our financial results.
The more we expand our business globally, the more foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations relative to the U.S. dollar influence our financial results. In many markets outside the United States, we sell our products and pay for some goods, services, and talent primarily in local currencies. Because our foreign currency revenues exceed our foreign currency expense, we have a net exposure to changes in the value of the U.S. dollar relative to those currencies. Over time, our reported financial results will be hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar and improved by a weaker one. We do not attempt to hedge all of our foreign currency exposure. We attempt to hedge a portion of our foreign currency exposure through the use of foreign currency derivatives or other means; however, even in those cases, we may not succeed in fully eliminating our foreign currency exposure. For details on how foreign exchange affects our business, see “Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk - Foreign currency exchange rate risk.”
National and local governments may adopt regulations or undertake investigations that could limit our business activities or increase our costs.
Our business is subject to extensive regulatory requirements regarding production, exportation, importation, marketing and promotion, labeling, distribution, pricing, and trade practices, among others. Changes in laws, regulatory measures, or governmental policies, or the manner in which current ones are interpreted, could cause us to incur material additional costs or liabilities, and jeopardize the growth of our business in the affected market. Specifically, governments may prohibit, impose, or increase limitations on advertising and promotional activities, or times or locations where beverage alcohol may be sold or consumed, or adopt other measures that could limit our opportunities to reach consumers or sell our products. Certain countries historically have banned all television, newspaper, magazine, and digital commerce/advertising for beverage alcohol products. Increases in regulation of this nature could substantially reduce consumer awareness of our products in the affected markets and make the introduction of new products more challenging.
Additional regulation in the United States and other countries addressing climate change, use of water, and other environmental issues could increase our operating costs. Increasing regulation of fuel emissions could increase the cost of energy, including fuel, required to operate our facilities or transport and distribute our products, thereby substantially increasing the production, distribution, and supply chain costs associated with our products.
Unfavorable economic conditions could negatively affect our operations and results.
Unfavorable global or regional economic conditions could adversely affect our business and financial results. In particular, a significant deterioration in economic conditions, due to the COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, including economic slowdowns or recessions, increased unemployment levels, inflationary pressures and/or disruptions to credit and capital markets, could lead to decreased consumer confidence and consumer spending more generally, thus reducing consumer demand for our products. Unfavorable economic conditions could also cause governments to increase taxes on beverage alcohol to attempt to raise revenue,

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reducing consumers’ willingness to make discretionary purchases of beverage alcohol products or pay for premium brands such as ours. In unfavorable economic conditions, such as those reflected in the current unprecedented levels of unemployment in the United States, consumers may make more value-driven and price-sensitive purchasing choices and drink more at home rather than at restaurants, bars, and hotels, which tend to favor many of our premium and super-premium products, which negatively impacts our operating margins.
Unfavorable economic conditions could also adversely affect our suppliers, distributors, and retailers, who in turn could experience cash flow problems, more costly or unavailable financing, credit defaults, and other financial hardships. For example, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impact, we have received requests for credit extensions from some of our distributors as the financial health of such distributors may have been negatively impacted. This could lead to distributor or retailer destocking, disruption in raw material supply, increase in bad debt expense, or cause us to increase the levels of unsecured credit that we provide to customers. Other potential negative consequences to our business from unfavorable economic conditions include higher interest rates, an increase in the rate of inflation, deflation, exchange rate fluctuations, credit or capital market instability, or lower returns on pension assets or lower discount rates for pension obligations (possibly requiring higher contributions to our pension plans). For additional details on the effects of COVID-19 on our operations and financial results, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Significant Developments - COVID-19.”. For details on the effects of changes in the value of our benefit plan obligations and assets on our financial results, see Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
Tax increases and changes in tax rules could adversely affect our financial results.
Our business is sensitive to changes in both direct and indirect taxes. As a multinational company based in the United States, we are more exposed to the impact of U.S. tax changes than most of our major competitors, especially those that affect the effective corporate income tax rate.
New tax rules, accounting standards, or pronouncements, and changes in interpretation of existing rules, standards, or pronouncements could also have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. This includes potential changes in tax rules or the interpretation of tax rules arising out of the Base Erosion & Profit Shifting project initiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as well as changes in the interpretation of tax rules arising out of the European Union State Aid investigations.
Our business operations are also subject to numerous duties or taxes that are not based on income, sometimes referred to as “indirect taxes.” These indirect taxes include excise taxes, sales or value-added taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, import and export duties, and tariffs. Increases in or the imposition of new indirect taxes on our operations or products would increase the cost of our products or, to the extent levied directly on consumers, make our products less affordable, which could negatively affect our financial results by reducing purchases of our products and encouraging consumers to switch to lower-priced or lower-taxed product categories. As governmental entities look for increased sources of revenue, they may increase taxes on beverage alcohol products. In fiscal 2020, we have observed excise tax increases in Australia, Poland, and Czech Republic.
Our business performance is substantially dependent upon the continued health of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands.
The Jack Daniel’s family of brands is the primary driver of our revenue and growth. Jack Daniel’s is an iconic global trademark with a loyal consumer fan base, and we invest much effort and many resources to protect and preserve the brand’s reputation for authenticity, craftsmanship, and quality. A brand’s reputational value is based in large part on consumer perceptions, and even an isolated incident that causes harm - particularly one resulting in widespread negative publicity - could adversely influence these perceptions and erode consumer trust and confidence in the brand. Significant damage to the brand equity of Jack Daniel’s would adversely affect our business. Given the importance of Jack Daniel’s to our overall success, a significant or sustained decline in volume or selling price of our Jack Daniel’s products, as a result of negative publicity or otherwise, would have a negative effect on our financial results. Additionally, should we not be successful in our efforts to maintain or increase the relevance of the Jack Daniel’s brand to current and future consumers, our business and operating results could suffer. For details on the importance of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands to our business, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Results of Operations - Fiscal 2020 Brand Highlights.”
Changes in consumer preferences and purchases, any decline in the social acceptability of our products, or governmental adoption of policies disadvantageous to beverage alcohol could negatively affect our business results.
We are a branded consumer products company in a highly competitive market, and our success depends substantially on our continued ability to offer consumers appealing, high-quality products. Consumer preferences and purchases may shift, often in unpredictable ways, due to several factors, including health and wellness trends; changes in economic conditions, demographic,

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and social trends; public health policies and initiatives; changes in government regulation of beverage alcohol products; concerns or regulations related to product safety; legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread basis within the United States, Canada, or elsewhere; and changes in trends related to travel, leisure, dining, gifting, entertaining, and beverage consumption trends. Consumers may begin to shift their consumption and purchases of our premium and super-premium products, more commonly found in on-premise establishments, in favor of off-premise purchases or away from alcoholic beverages entirely. This includes consumption at home as a result of various factors, including shifts in social trends, proliferation of smoking bans, and stricter laws relating to driving while under the influence of alcohol, as well as shifts to purchases of our products to e-commerce retailers. These shifts in consumption and purchasing channels, which could adversely impact our profitability, have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantines, “stay at home” orders, travel restrictions, retail, restaurant, bar, and hotel closures, social distancing requirements, and other government action. Consumers also may begin to prefer the products of competitors or may generally reduce their demand for brands produced by larger companies. Over the past several years, the number of small, local distilleries in the United States has grown significantly. This is being driven by a trend of consumers showing increasing interest in locally produced, regionally sourced products. As more brands enter the market, increased competition could negatively affect demand for our premium and super-premium American whiskey brands, including Jack Daniel’s. In addition, we could experience unfavorable business results if we fail to attract consumers from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities in all markets where we sell our products. To continue to succeed, we must anticipate or react effectively to shifts in demographics, consumer behavior, consumer preferences, drinking tastes, and drinking occasions.
Our long-term plans call for the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands. In particular, we plan to expand sales of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple internationally. If these plans do not succeed, or if we otherwise fail to develop or implement effective business, portfolio, and brand strategies, our growth, business, or financial results could suffer. More broadly, if consumers shift away from spirits (particularly brown spirits such as American whiskey and bourbon), our premium-priced brands, or our RTD products, our financial results could be adversely affected.
We believe that new products, line extensions, label and bottle changes, product reformulations, and similar product innovations by both our competitors and us will compete increasingly for consumer drinking occasions. Product innovation, particularly for our core brands, such as our launch of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, is a significant element of our growth strategy; however, there can be no assurance that we will continue to develop and implement successful line extensions, packaging, formulation or flavor changes, or new products. Unsuccessful implementation or short-lived popularity of our product innovations could result in inventory write-offs and other costs, reduction in profits from one year to the next, and also could damage consumers’ perception of the brand family. Our inability to attract consumers to our product innovations relative to our competitors’ products - especially over time - could negatively affect our growth, business, and financial results.
Our ability to market and sell our products depends heavily on societal attitudes toward drinking and governmental policies that both flow from and affect those attitudes. In recent years, increased social and political attention has been directed at the beverage alcohol industry. For example, there remains continued attention focused largely on public health concerns related to alcohol abuse, including drunk driving, underage drinking, and the negative health impacts of the abuse and misuse of beverage alcohol. While most people who drink enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation, it is commonly known and well reported that excessive levels or inappropriate patterns of drinking can lead to increased risk of a range of health conditions and, for certain people, can result in alcohol dependence. Some academics, public health officials, and critics of the alcohol industry in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world continue to seek governmental measures to make beverage alcohol more expensive, less available, or more difficult to advertise and promote. If future scientific research indicates more widespread serious health risks associated with alcohol consumption - particularly with moderate consumption - or if for any reason the social acceptability of beverage alcohol declines significantly, sales of our products could decrease.
Production facility disruption could adversely affect our business.
Some of our largest brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Finlandia Vodka, and our tequilas, are distilled at single locations. A catastrophic event causing physical damage, disruption, or failure at any one of our major distillation or bottling facilities, including facilities that support the production of our premium brands such as Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, could adversely affect our business. Further, because whiskeys and some tequilas are aged for various periods, we maintain a substantial inventory of aged and maturing products in warehouses at a number of different sites. The loss of a substantial amount of aged inventory - through fire, other natural or man-made disaster, contamination, or otherwise - could significantly reduce the supply of the affected product or products. A consequence of any of these or other supply or supply chain disruptions, including the temporary inability to produce our products due to the closure or lower production levels at one or more of our major distillation or bottling facilities, or at our suppliers as a result of COVID-19, could prevent us from meeting consumer demand for the affected products for a period of time in the near-term as well as in the long-term due to the nature of our aged products. In addition, insurance proceeds may be insufficient to cover the replacement value of our inventory of maturing products and other assets if they were to be lost. Disaster recovery plans may not prevent business disruption, and reconstruction of any damaged facilities could require a significant amount of time.

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The inherent uncertainty in supply/demand forecasting could adversely affect our business, particularly with respect to our aged products.
There is an inherent risk of forecasting imprecision in determining the quantity of aged and maturing products to produce and hold in inventory in a given year for future sale. The forecasting strategies we use to balance product supply with fluctuations in consumer demand may not be effective for particular years or products. For example, in addition to our American, Canadian, and Irish whiskeys and some tequilas, which are aged for various periods, our Scotch whisky brands and distilleries including The GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh require long-term maturation on average of 12 years with limited releases of 30 years or more, making forecasts of demand for such products in future periods subject to significant uncertainty. Factors that affect our ability to forecast accurately include changes in business strategy, market demand, consumer preferences, macroeconomic conditions, introductions of competing products, and other changes in market conditions such as the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impacts. Any forecasting error could lead to our inability to meet the objectives of our business strategy, failure to meet future demand, or a future surplus of inventory and consequent write-down in value of raw materials or finished goods. If we are unable to accurately forecast demand for our products or efficiently manage inventory, this may have a material adverse effect on our business and financial results. Further, we cannot be certain that we will be successful in using various levers, such as pricing changes, to create the desired balance of available supply and consumer demand for particular years or products. As a consequence, we may be unable to meet consumer demand for the affected products for a period of time. Furthermore, not having our products in the market on a consistent basis may adversely affect our brand equity and future sales.
Higher costs or unavailability of materials could adversely affect our financial results, as could our inability to obtain certain finished goods or to sell used materials.
Our products use materials and ingredients that we purchase from suppliers. Our ability to make and sell our products depends upon the availability of the raw materials, product ingredients, finished products, wood, glass and PET bottles, cans, bottle closures, packaging, and other materials used to produce and package them. Without sufficient quantities of one or more key materials, our business and financial results could suffer. For instance, only a few glass producers make bottles on a scale sufficient for our requirements, and a single producer supplies most of our glass requirements. In addition, if we were to experience a disruption in the supply of American white oak logs to produce the new charred oak barrels in which we age our whiskeys, our production capabilities would be compromised. If any of our key suppliers were no longer able to meet our timing, quality, or capacity requirements, ceased doing business with us, or significantly raised prices, and we could not promptly develop alternative cost-effective sources of supply or production, our operations and financial results could suffer. For example, in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in our manufacturing operations or in our distribution or supply chain, such as with our neutral spirits supplier in France for our Jack Daniel’s flavored whiskies, due to illness, quarantines, “stay at home” orders, social distancing requirements, and other government actions could adversely affect our ability to manufacture our products.
Higher costs or insufficient availability of suitable grain, agave, water, grapes, wood, glass, closures, and other input materials, or higher associated labor costs or insufficient availability of labor, may adversely affect our financial results. Similarly, when energy costs rise, our transportation, freight, and other operating costs, such as distilling and bottling expenses, also may increase. Our freight cost and the timely delivery of our products could be adversely affected by a number of factors that could reduce the profitability of our operations, including driver shortages, higher fuel costs, weather conditions, traffic congestion, increased government regulation, and other matters. Our financial results may be adversely affected if we are not able to pass along energy and freight cost increases through higher prices to our customers without reducing demand or sales.
International or domestic geopolitical or other events, including the imposition of any tariffs or quotas by governmental authorities on any raw materials that we use in the production of our products, could adversely affect the supply and cost of these raw materials to us. If we cannot offset higher raw material costs with higher selling prices, increased sales volume, or reductions in other costs, our profitability could be adversely affected.
Weather, the effects of climate change, fires, diseases, and other agricultural uncertainties that affect the mortality, health, yield, quality, or price of the various raw materials used in our products also present risks for our business, including in some cases potential impairment in the recorded value of our inventory. Changes in weather patterns or intensity can disrupt our supply chain as well, which may affect production operations, insurance costs and coverage, and the timely delivery of our products.
Water is an essential component of our products, so the quality and quantity of available water is important to our ability to operate our business. If droughts become more common or severe, or if our water supply were interrupted for other reasons, high-quality water could become scarce in some key production regions for our products, including Tennessee, Kentucky, California, Finland, Canada, Mexico, Scotland, and Ireland, which in turn could adversely affect our business and financial results.

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Our ability to sell used barrels for reuse may be affected by fluctuations in the market. For example, lower prices, increased competitive supply of used barrels, and weaker demand from Irish and blended scotch industry buyers may make it difficult to sell our used barrels at sustainable prices and quantities, which could negatively affect our financial results.
Significant additional labeling or warning requirements or limitations on the availability of our products could inhibit sales of affected products.
Various jurisdictions have adopted or may seek to adopt significant additional product labeling or warning requirements or limitations on the availability of our products relating to the content or perceived adverse health consequences of some of our products. Several such labeling regulations or laws require warnings on any product with substances that the jurisdiction lists as potentially associated with cancer or birth defects. Our products already raise health and safety concerns for some regulators, and heightened requirements could be imposed. If additional or more severe requirements of this type are imposed on one or more of our major products under current or future health, environmental, or other laws or regulations, they could inhibit sales of such products. Further, we cannot predict whether our products will become subject to increased rules and regulations, which, if enacted, could increase our costs or adversely impact sales. For example, advocacy groups in Australia and the United Kingdom have called for the consideration of requiring the sale of alcohol in plain packaging with more comprehensive health warnings in an effort to change drinking habits in those countries. These studies could result in additional governmental regulations concerning the production, marketing, labeling, or availability of our products, any of which could damage our reputation, make our premium brands unrecognizable, or reduce demand of our products, which could adversely affect our profitability.
We face substantial competition in our industry, including many new entrants into spirits; and consolidation among beverage alcohol producers, wholesalers, and retailers, or changes to our route-to-consumer model, could hinder the marketing, sale, or distribution of our products.
We use different business models to market and distribute our products in different countries around the world. In the United States, we sell our products either to distributors for resale to retail outlets or e-commerce retailers or, in those states that control alcohol sales, to state governments who then sell them to retail customers and consumers. In our non-U.S. markets, we use a variety of route-to-consumer models - including, in many markets, reliance on others to market and sell our products. Consolidation among spirits producers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, or retailers and the increased growth and popularity of the e-commerce retail environment across the consumer product goods market, which has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting quarantines, “stay at home” orders, travel restrictions, retail store closures, social distancing requirements, and other government action, could create a more challenging competitive landscape for our products. Consolidation at any level could hinder the distribution and sale of our products as a result of reduced attention and resources allocated to our brands both during and after transition periods, because our brands might represent a smaller portion of the new business portfolio. Furthermore, consolidation of distributors may lead to the erosion of margins as newly consolidated distributors take down prices. Changes in distributors’ strategies, including a reduction in the number of brands they carry, the allocation of shelf space for our competitors’ brands, or private label products, may adversely affect our growth, business, financial results, and market share. Expansion into new product categories by other suppliers, or innovation by new entrants into the market, could increase competition in our product categories.
Changes to our route-to-consumer models or partners in important markets could result in temporary or longer-term sales disruption, could result in higher costs, and could negatively affect other business relationships we might have with that partner. Disruption of our distribution network or fluctuations in our product inventory levels at distributors, wholesalers, or retailers could negatively affect our results for a particular period. Further, while we believe we have sufficient scale to succeed relative to our major competitors, we nevertheless face a risk that continuing consolidation of large beverage alcohol companies could put us at a competitive disadvantage.
Our competitors may respond to industry and economic conditions more rapidly or effectively than we do. Other suppliers, as well as wholesalers and retailers of our brands, offer products that compete directly with ours for shelf space, promotional displays, and consumer purchases. Pricing (including price promotions, discounting, couponing, and free goods), marketing, new product introductions, entry into our distribution networks, and other competitive behavior by other suppliers, and by wholesalers and traditional and e-commerce retailers, could adversely affect our growth, business, and financial results. While we seek to take advantage of the efficiencies and opportunities that large retail customers can offer, they often seek lower pricing and purchase volume flexibility, offer competing private label products, and represent a large number of other competing products. If the buying power of these large retail customers continues to increase, it could negatively affect our financial results.
We might not succeed in our strategies for acquisitions and dispositions.
From time to time, we acquire or invest in additional brands or businesses. We expect to continue to seek acquisition and investment opportunities that we believe will increase long-term shareholder value, but we may not be able to find and purchase brands or

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businesses at acceptable prices and terms. Acquisitions involve risks and uncertainties, including potential difficulties integrating acquired brands and personnel; the possible loss of key customers or employees most knowledgeable about the acquired business; implementing and maintaining consistent U.S. public company standards, controls, procedures, policies, and information systems; exposure to unknown liabilities; business disruption; and management distraction. Acquisitions, investments, or joint ventures could also lead us to incur additional debt and related interest expenses, issue additional shares, and result in a reduction in our earnings per share and a decrease on our average invested capital. We could incur future restructuring charges or record impairment losses on the value of goodwill or other intangible assets resulting from previous acquisitions, which may also negatively affect our financial results.
We also evaluate from time to time the potential disposition of assets or businesses that may no longer meet our financial or strategic objectives. In selling assets or businesses, we may not get prices or terms as favorable as we anticipated. We could also encounter difficulty in finding buyers on acceptable terms in a timely manner, which could delay our accomplishment of strategic objectives. Expected cost savings from reduced overhead relating to the sold assets may not materialize, and the overhead reductions could temporarily disrupt our other business operations. Any of these outcomes could negatively affect our financial results.
Counterfeiting or inadequate protection of our intellectual property rights could adversely affect our business prospects.
Our brand names, trademarks, and related intellectual property rights are critical assets, and our business depends on our protecting them online and in the countries where we do business. We may not succeed in protecting our intellectual property rights in a given market or in challenging those who infringe our rights or imitate or counterfeit our products. Although we believe that our intellectual property rights are legally protected in the markets where we do business, the ability to register and enforce intellectual property rights varies from country to country. In some countries, for example, it may be more difficult to successfully stop counterfeiting or look-alike products, either because the law is inadequate or, even though satisfactory legal options may exist, it may be difficult to obtain and enforce sanctions against counterfeiters. We may not be able to register our trademarks in every country where we want to sell a particular product, and we may not obtain favorable decisions by courts or trademark offices.
Many global spirits brands, including some of our brands, experience problems with product counterfeiting and other forms of trademark infringement. We combat counterfeiting by working with other companies in the spirits industry through our membership in the Alliance Against Counterfeit Spirits (AACS) and with brand owners in other industries via our membership in React, an anti-counterfeiting network organization. While we believe AACS and React are effective organizations, they are not active in every market, and their efforts are subject to obtaining the cooperation of local authorities and courts in the markets where they are active. Despite the efforts of AACS, React, and our own teams, lower-quality and counterfeit products that could be harmful to consumers could reach the market and adversely affect our intellectual property rights, brand equity, corporate reputation, and financial results. In addition, the industry as a whole could suffer negative effects related to the manufacture, sale, and consumption of illegally produced beverage alcohol. In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic impacts, government actions and interventions in local economies and businesses may create an elevated risk and opportunity for counterfeiting.
Product recalls or other product liability claims could materially and adversely affect our sales.
The success of our brands depends upon the positive image that consumers have of them. We could decide to or be required to recall products due to suspected or confirmed product contamination, product tampering, spoilage, or other quality issues. Any of these events could adversely affect our financial results. Actual contamination, whether deliberate or accidental, could lead to inferior product quality and even illness, injury, or death to consumers, potential liability claims, and material loss. Should a product recall become necessary, or we voluntarily recall a product in the event of contamination, damage, or other quality issue, sales of the affected product or our broader portfolio of brands could be adversely affected. A significant product liability judgment or widespread product recall may negatively impact sales and our business and financial results. Even if a product liability claim is unsuccessful or is not fully pursued, resulting negative publicity could adversely affect our reputation with existing and potential customers and our corporate and brand image.
Litigation and legal disputes could expose our business to financial and reputational risk.
Major private or governmental litigation challenging the production, marketing, promotion, distribution, or sale of beverage alcohol or specific brands could affect our ability to sell our products. Because litigation and other legal proceedings can be costly to defend, even actions that are ultimately decided in our favor could have a negative impact on our business reputation or financial results. Lawsuits have been brought against beverage alcohol companies alleging problems related to alcohol abuse, negative health consequences from drinking, problems from alleged marketing or sales practices, and underage drinking. While these lawsuits have been largely unsuccessful in the past, others may succeed in the future. We could also experience employment-related class actions, environmental claims, commercial disputes, product liability actions stemming from a beverage or container

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production defect, a whistleblower suit, or other major litigation that could adversely affect our business results, particularly if there is negative publicity or to the extent the losses or expenses were not covered by insurance.
Governmental actions around the world to enforce trade practice, anti-money-laundering, anti-corruption, competition, tax, environmental, and other laws are also a continuing compliance risk for global companies such as ours. In addition, as a U.S. public company, we are exposed to the risk of securities-related class action suits, particularly following a precipitous drop in the share price of our stock. Adverse developments in major lawsuits concerning these or other matters could result in management distraction and have a material adverse effect on our business.
A cyber breach, a failure or corruption of one or more of our key information technology systems, networks, processes, associated sites, or service providers, or a failure to comply with personal data protection laws could have a material adverse impact on our business.
We rely on information technology (IT) systems, networks, and services, including internet sites, data hosting and processing facilities and tools, hardware (including laptops and mobile devices), software, and technical applications and platforms, some of which are managed, hosted, provided, or used by third parties or their vendors, to help us manage our business. The various uses of these IT systems, networks, and services include, but are not limited to: hosting our internal network and communication systems; ordering and managing materials from suppliers; supply/demand planning; production; shipping products to customers; hosting corporate strategic plans and employee data; hosting our branded websites and marketing products to consumers; collecting and storing customer, consumer, employee, investor, and other data; processing transactions; summarizing and reporting results of operations; hosting, processing, and sharing confidential and proprietary research, business plans, and financial information; complying with regulatory, legal, or tax requirements; providing data security; and handling other processes necessary to manage our business.
Increased IT security threats and more sophisticated cybercrimes and cyberattacks pose a potential risk to the security and availability of our IT systems, networks, and services, including those that are managed, hosted, provided, or used by third parties, as well as the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of our data and the data of our customers, consumers, employees, and others. If the IT systems, networks, or service providers we rely upon fail to function properly, or if we suffer a loss or disclosure of our business strategy or other sensitive information, due to any number of causes, ranging from catastrophic events to power outages to security breaches to usage errors by employees and other security issues, we may suffer interruptions in our ability to manage operations and reputational, competitive, or business harm, which may adversely affect our business operations or financial results. In addition, such events could result in unauthorized disclosure of material confidential information, and we may suffer financial and reputational damage because of lost or misappropriated confidential information belonging to us or to our partners, our employees, customers, suppliers, or consumers. In any of these events, we could also be required to spend significant financial and other resources to remedy the damage caused by a security breach or to repair or replace networks and IT systems, which could require a significant amount of time. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a greater number of our employees are working remotely, which may further increase our vulnerability to the cyber risks described above.
In the ordinary course of our business, we receive, process, transmit, and store information relating to identifiable individuals (personal data), primarily employees and former employees, but also relating to customers and consumers. As a result, we are subject to various U.S. federal and state and foreign laws and regulations relating to personal data. These laws have been subject to frequent changes, and new legislation in this area may be enacted in other jurisdictions at any time, such as, for example, the California Consumer Protection Act which took effect on January 1, 2020. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became effective in May 2018, for all member states and has extraterritorial effect. The GDPR includes operational requirements for companies receiving or processing personal data of European Union residents that are partially different from those that had previously been in place and includes significant penalties for noncompliance. The changes introduced by the GDPR, as well as any other changes to existing personal data protection laws and the introduction of such laws in other jurisdictions, have subjected and may continue in the future to subject us to, among other things, additional costs and expenses and have required and may in the future require costly changes to our business practices and security systems, policies, procedures, and practices. Improper disclosure of personal data in violation of the GDPR and/or of other personal data protection laws could harm our reputation, cause loss of consumer confidence, subject us to government enforcement actions (including fines), or result in private litigation against us, which could result in loss of revenue, increased costs, liability for monetary damages, fines and/or criminal prosecution, all of which could negatively affect our business and operating results.
Negative publicity could affect our business performance.

Unfavorable publicity, whether accurate or not, related to our industry or to us or our products, brands, marketing, executive leadership, employees, board of directors, family stockholders, operations, business performance, or prospects could negatively affect our corporate reputation, stock price, ability to attract and retain high-quality talent, or the performance of our business.

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Adverse publicity or negative commentary on social media outlets, whether valid or not, particularly any that go “viral,” could cause consumers to react by avoiding our brands or choosing brands offered by our competitors, which could materially negatively affect our financial results.
Our failure to attract or retain key executive or diverse employee talent could adversely affect our business.
Our success depends upon the efforts and abilities of our senior management team, other key employees, and our high-quality employee base, as well as our ability to attract, motivate, reward, and retain them. Difficulties in hiring or retaining key executive or other employee talent, or the unexpected loss of experienced employees resulting in the depletion of our institutional knowledge base, could have an adverse impact on our business performance, reputation, financial condition, or results of operations. Given the changing demographics, changes in immigration laws and policies, and increased demand for talent globally, we, as an American multinational company, may not be able to find the right people with the right skills, at the right time, and in the right location, to achieve our business objectives.
The Brown family has the ability to control the outcome of matters submitted for stockholder approval.
We are a “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules. Controlled companies are exempt from New York Stock Exchange listing standards that require a board composed of a majority of independent directors, a fully independent nominating/corporate governance committee, and a fully independent compensation committee. We avail ourselves of the exemptions from having a board composed of a majority of independent directors and a fully independent nominating/corporate governance committee. Notwithstanding the available exemption, our Compensation Committee is composed exclusively of independent directors. As a result of our use of some “controlled company” exemptions, our corporate governance practices differ from those of non-controlled companies, which are subject to all of the New York Stock Exchange corporate governance requirements.
We have two classes of common stock. Our Class A common stock is entitled to full voting powers, including in the elections of directors, while our Class B common stock may not vote except as provided by the laws of Delaware. We have had two classes of common stock since 1959, when our stockholders approved the issuance of two shares of Class B non-voting common stock to every holder of our voting common stock. Such dual-class share structures have increasingly come under the scrutiny of major indices, institutional investors, and proxy advisory firms, with some calling for the reclassification of non-voting common stock.
A majority of our voting stock is controlled by members of the Brown family, and, collectively, they have the ability to control the outcome of stockholder votes, including the election of all of our directors and the approval or rejection of any merger, change of control, or other significant corporate transactions. We believe that having a long-term-focused, committed, and engaged stockholder base provides us with an important strategic advantage, particularly in a business with aged products and multi-generational brands. This advantage could be eroded or lost, however, should Brown family members cease, collectively, to be controlling stockholders of the Company.
We believe that it is in the interests of all stockholders that we remain independent and family-controlled, and we believe the Brown family stockholders share these interests. Thus, our common stock dual-class share structure, as it has existed since 1959, is perpetual, and we do not have a sunset provision in our Restated Certificate of Incorporation or By-laws that provides for the eventual reclassification of the non-voting common stock to voting common stock. However, the Brown family’s interests may not always be aligned with other stockholders’ interests. By exercising their control, the Brown family could cause the Company to take actions that are at odds with the investment goals or interests of institutional, short-term, non-voting, or other non-controlling investors, or that have a negative effect on our stock price. Further, because the Brown family controls the majority of our voting stock, Brown-Forman might be a less attractive takeover target, which could adversely affect the market price of both our voting and our non-voting common stock. And the difference in voting rights for our common stock could also adversely and disproportionately affect the value of our Class B non-voting common stock to the extent that investors view, or any potential future purchaser of our Company views, the superior voting rights and control represented by the Class A common stock to have value.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
None.

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Item 2. Properties
Our company-owned production facilities include distilleries, a winery, bottling plants, warehousing operations, sawmills, cooperages, visitors’ centers, and retail shops. We also have agreements with other parties for contract production in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
In addition to our company-owned production locations and our corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky, we lease office space for use in our sales, marketing, and administrative operations in the United States and in over 40 other cities around the globe. The lease terms expire at various dates and are generally renewable.
Significant Properties
Location
Principal Activities
Notes
 
 
 
United States:
Louisville, Kentucky
Corporate offices
Includes several renovated historic structures
 
Distilling, bottling, warehousing
Home of Old Forester
 
Visitors’ center
 
 
Cooperage
Brown-Forman Cooperage
Lynchburg, Tennessee
Distilling, bottling, warehousing
Home of Jack Daniel’s
 
Visitors’ center
 
Woodford County, Kentucky
Distilling, bottling, warehousing
Home of Woodford Reserve
 
Visitors’ center
 
Windsor, California
Vineyards, winery, bottling, warehousing
 
Home of Sonoma-Cutrer
 
Visitors’ center
 
Trinity, Alabama
Cooperage
Jack Daniel Cooperage
Clifton, Tennessee
Stave and heading mill
 
Stevenson, Alabama
Stave and heading mill
 
Spencer, Indiana
Stave and heading mill
 
Jackson, Ohio
Stave and heading mill
Land is leased from a third party
 
 
 
International:
Collingwood, Canada1
Distilling, warehousing
Home of Canadian Mist1
Cour-Cheverny, France
Distilling, bottling, warehousing
Home of Chambord
Amatitán, Mexico
Distilling, bottling, warehousing
Home of our tequila brands
 
Visitors’ center
 
Slane, Ireland
Distilling
Home of Slane Irish Whiskey
 
Visitors’ center
 
Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Distilling, warehousing
Home of Glendronach
 
Visitors’ center
 
Morayshire, Scotland

Distilling, warehousing
Home of BenRiach
 
Visitors’ center
 
Newbridge, Scotland
Bottling
 
Portsoy, Scotland
Distilling, warehousing
Home of Glenglassaugh
 
Visitors’ center
 
1Entered into an agreement on June 12, 2020 to sell this brand and its property to Sazerac Company.
We believe that our facilities are in good condition and are adequate for our business.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
We operate in a litigious environment and we are sued in the normal course of business. We do not anticipate that any pending suits will have, individually or in the aggregate, a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, or liquidity.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.

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PART II
Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our Class A and Class B common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols “BFA” and “BFB,” respectively. As of May 31, 2020, there were 2,552 holders of record of Class A common stock and 5,127 holders of record of Class B common stock. Because of overlapping ownership between classes, as of May 31, 2020, we had only 5,270 distinct common stockholders of record.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
The following table summarizes information as of April 30, 2020, about our equity compensation plans under which we have made grants of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock, market value units, performance units, or other equity awards.
Plan Category
 
Number of Securities to Be Issued Upon Exercise of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights1
 
Weighted-Average Exercise Price of Outstanding Options, Warrants and Rights2
 
Number of Securities Remaining Available for Future Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans
Equity compensation plans approved by Class A common stockholders
 
2,438,446
 
$38.19
 
13,513,565
1Includes 1,903,124 Class B common shares to be issued upon exercise of stock-settled stock appreciation rights (SSARs); 132,877 Class B performance-based restricted stock units (PBRSUs); 156,274 Class A PBRSUs; 169,838 Class A common deferred stock units (DSUs); and 76,333 Class B common DSUs issued under the Brown-Forman 2004 or 2013 Omnibus Compensation Plans. SSARs are exercisable for an amount of our common stock with a value equal to the increase in the fair market value of the common stock from the date the SSARs were granted. The fair market value of our common stock at fiscal year-end has been used for the purposes of reporting the number of shares to be issued upon exercise of the 4,929,581 SSARs outstanding at fiscal year-end.
2RSUs and DSUs have no exercise price because their value depends on continued employment or service over time, and are to be settled for shares of Class B common stock. Accordingly, these have been disregarded for purposes of computing the weighted-average exercise price.


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Stock Performance Graph
The graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return of our Class B common stock for the last five fiscal years with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Dow Jones U.S. Consumer Goods Index, and the Dow Jones U.S. Food & Beverage Index. The information presented assumes an initial investment of $100 on April 30, 2015, and that all dividends were reinvested. The graph shows the value that each of these investments would have had on April 30 in the years since 2015.
chart-32a1fa417faa522fa23.jpg


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Item 6. Selected Financial Data
This selected financial data should be read in conjunction with “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes contained in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.”
 
(Dollars in millions, except per share amounts)
 
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
For Year Ended April 30:
 
 
 
 
 
Sales
$
4,011

$
3,857

$
4,201

$
4,276

$
4,306

Excise taxes
$
922

$
863

$
953

$
952

$
943

Net sales
$
3,089

$
2,994

$
3,248

$
3,324

$
3,363

Gross profit
$
2,144

$
2,021

$
2,202

$
2,166

$
2,127

Operating income
$
1,556

$
1,010

$
1,048

$
1,144

$
1,091

Net income
$
1,067

$
669

$
717

$
835

$
827

Weighted average shares (in millions) used to calculate earnings per share
 
 
 
 
 
– Basic
507.4

484.6

480.3

479.0

477.8

– Diluted
510.7

488.1

484.2

482.1

480.4

Earnings per share from continuing operations
 
 
 
 
 
– Basic
$
2.10

$
1.38

$
1.49

$
1.74

$
1.73

– Diluted
$
2.09

$
1.37

$
1.48

$
1.73

$
1.72

Gross margin
69.4
%
67.5
%
67.8
%
65.2
%
63.2
%
Operating margin
50.4
%
33.8
%
32.3
%
34.4
%
32.4
%
Effective tax rate
28.3
%
28.3
%
26.6
%
19.8
%
18.0
%
Average invested capital
$
3,221

$
3,591

$
3,832

$
4,125

$
4,387

Return on average invested capital
34.1
%
19.8
%
20.0
%
22.0
%
20.4
%
Cash provided by operations
$
545

$
656

$
653

$
800

$
724

Cash dividends declared per common share
$
0.5240

$
0.5640

$
1.6080

$
0.6480

$
0.6806

Dividend payout ratio
25.0
%
40.9
%
107.8
%
37.2
%
39.3
%
As of April 30:
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
4,183

$
4,625

$
4,976

$
5,139

$
5,766

Long-term debt
$
1,230

$
1,689

$
2,341

$
2,290

$
2,269

Total debt
$
1,501

$
2,149

$
2,556

$
2,440

$
2,602

 
 
Notes:
1.
Includes the results of Southern Comfort and Tuaca, both of which were sold in March 2016 at a gain of $485 million (pre-tax). Includes the results of BenRiach since its acquisition in June 2016.
2.
Weighted average shares, earnings per share, and cash dividends declared per common share have been adjusted for a 2-for-1 stock split in August 2016 and a 5-for-4 stock split in February 2018.
3.
See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation – Presentation Basis – Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for details on our use of “return on average invested capital,” including how we calculate this measure and why we think this information is useful to readers.
4.
Cash dividends declared per common share include a special cash dividend of $1.00 in fiscal 2018.
5.
We define dividend payout ratio as cash dividends divided by net income.

26


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Introduction
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) is intended to help the reader better understand Brown-Forman, our operations, our financial results, and our current business environment. Please read this MD&A in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes contained in “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” (the Consolidated Financial Statements).
Our MD&A is organized as follows:
Table of Contents
 
Page
Presentation basis. This MD&A reflects the basis of presentation described in Note 1 “Accounting Policies” to the Consolidated Financial Statements. In addition, we define statistical and non-GAAP financial measures that we believe help readers understand our results of operations and the trends affecting our business.
Significant developments. We discuss developments during the most recent two fiscal years. Please read this section in conjunction with “Item 1. Business,” which provides a general description of our business and strategy.
Executive summary. We discuss (a) fiscal 2020 highlights and (b) our outlook for fiscal 2021, including the trends, developments, and uncertainties that we expect to affect our business.
Results of operations. We discuss (a) fiscal 2020 results for our largest markets, (b) fiscal 2020 results for our largest brands, and (c) the causes of year-over-year changes in our statements of operations line items, including transactions and other items that affect the comparability of our results, for fiscal years 2020 and 2019.
Liquidity and capital resources. We discuss (a) the causes of year-over-year changes in cash flows from operating activities, investing activities, and financing activities; (b) recent and expected future capital expenditures; (c) dividends and share repurchases; and (d) our liquidity position, including capital resources available to us.
Off-balance sheet arrangements.
Long-term obligations.
Critical accounting policies and estimates. We discuss the critical accounting policies and estimates that require significant management judgment.
Presentation Basis
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
We use some financial measures in this report that are not measures of financial performance under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These non-GAAP measures, defined below, should be viewed as supplements to (not substitutes for) our results of operations and other measures reported under GAAP. Other companies may not define or calculate these non-GAAP measures in the same way.
“Underlying change” in measures of statements of operations. We present changes in certain measures, or line items, of the statements of operations that are adjusted to an “underlying” basis. We use “underlying change” for the following measures of the statements of operations: (a) underlying net sales; (b) underlying cost of sales; (c) underlying gross profit; (d) underlying advertising expenses; (e) underlying selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses; (f) underlying other expense (income) net; (g) underlying operating expenses1; and (h) underlying operating income. To calculate these measures, we adjust, as applicable, for (a) acquisitions and divestitures, (b) foreign exchange, (c) estimated net changes in distributor inventories, and (d) a non-cash write-down of the Chambord brand name. We explain these adjustments below.
“Acquisitions and divestitures.” This adjustment removes (a) any non-recurring effects related to our acquisitions and divestitures (e.g., transaction gains or losses, transaction costs, and integration costs), and (b) the effects of operating activity related to acquired and divested brands for periods not comparable year over year (non-comparable periods). Excluding non-comparable periods allows us to include the effects of acquired and divested brands only to the extent that results are comparable year over year.
On July 3, 2019, we acquired 100% of the voting interests in The 86 Company, which owns Fords Gin, for $22 million in cash. This adjustment removes (a) transaction and integration costs related to the acquisition and (b) operating activity for the acquired business for the non-comparable period, which is fiscal 2020 activity for The 86 Company. We believe that these adjustments allow for us to better understand our underlying results on a comparable basis. See Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for details.
 
 
1Operating expenses include advertising expense, SG&A expense, and other expense (income), net.

27


“Foreign exchange.” We calculate the percentage change in certain line items of the statements of operations in accordance with GAAP and adjust to exclude the cost or benefit of currency fluctuations. Adjusting for foreign exchange allows us to understand our business on a constant-dollar basis, as fluctuations in exchange rates can distort the underlying trend both positively and negatively. (In this report, “dollar” always means the U.S. dollar unless stated otherwise.) To eliminate the effect of foreign exchange fluctuations when comparing across periods, we translate current-year results at prior-year rates and remove transactional and hedging foreign exchange gains and losses from current- and prior-year periods.
“Estimated net change in distributor inventories.” This adjustment refers to the estimated net effect of changes in distributor inventories on changes in certain line items of the statements of operations. For each period compared, we use volume information from our distributors to estimate the effect of distributor inventory changes in certain line items of the statements of operations. We believe that this adjustment reduces the effect of varying levels of distributor inventories on changes in certain line items of the statements of operations and allows us to understand better our underlying results and trends.
“Chambord impairment.” During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, we recognized a non-cash impairment charge of $13 million for our Chambord brand name. See “Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” below and Note 4 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for details.
We use the non-GAAP measures “underlying change” to: (a) understand our performance from period to period on a consistent basis; (b) compare our performance to that of our competitors; (c) calculate components of management incentive compensation; (d) plan and forecast; and (e) communicate our financial performance to the board of directors, stockholders, and investment community. We provide reconciliations of the “underlying change” in certain line items of the statements of operations to their nearest GAAP measures in the tables under “Results of Operations - Year-Over-Year Comparisons.” We have consistently applied the adjustments within our reconciliations in arriving at each non-GAAP measure.
“Return on average invested capital.” This measure refers to the sum of net income and after-tax interest expense, divided by average invested capital. Average invested capital equals assets less liabilities, excluding interest-bearing debt, and is calculated using the average of the most recent 13 month-end balances. After-tax interest expense equals interest expense multiplied by one minus our effective tax rate. We use this non-GAAP measure because we consider return on average invested capital to be a meaningful indicator of how effectively and efficiently we invest capital in our business.
Definitions
Aggregations.
From time to time, to explain our results of operations or to highlight trends and uncertainties affecting our business, we aggregate markets according to stage of economic development as defined by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and we aggregate brands by spirits category. Below, we define the geographic and brand aggregations used in this report.
Geographic Aggregations.
In “Results of Operations - Fiscal 2020 Market Highlights,” we provide supplemental information for our largest markets ranked by percentage of total fiscal 2020 net sales. In addition to markets listed by country name, we include the following aggregations:
“Developed International” markets are “advanced economies” as defined by the IMF, excluding the United States. Our largest developed international markets are the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, France, Japan, and Canada. This aggregation represents our net sales of branded products to these markets.
“Emerging” markets are “emerging and developing economies” as defined by the IMF. Our largest emerging markets are Mexico, Poland, and Russia. This aggregation represents our net sales of branded products to these markets.
“Travel Retail” represents our net sales of branded products to global duty-free customers, other travel retail customers, and the U.S. military, regardless of customer location.
“Non-branded and bulk” includes our net sales of used barrels, bulk whiskey and wine, and contract bottling, regardless of customer location.
Brand Aggregations.
In “Results of Operations - Fiscal 2020 Brand Highlights,” we provide supplemental information for our largest brands ranked by percentage of total fiscal 2020 net sales. In addition to brands listed by name, we include the following aggregations:

28


“Whiskey” includes all whiskey spirits and whiskey-based flavored liqueurs, ready-to-drink (RTD), and ready-to-pour products (RTP). The brands included in this category are the Jack Daniel’s family of brands, the Woodford Reserve family of brands (Woodford Reserve), Canadian Mist, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, the Old Forester family of brands (Old Forester), Early Times, Slane Irish Whiskey, and Coopers’ Craft.
“American whiskey” includes the Jack Daniel’s family of brands, premium bourbons (defined below), super-premium American whiskey (defined below), and Early Times.
“Jack Daniel’s family of brands” includes Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey (JDTW), Jack Daniel’s RTD and RTP products (JD RTD/RTP), Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (JDTH), Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire (JDTF), Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple (JDTA), Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Collection (JDSB), Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye Whiskey (JDTR), Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey, and Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond.
“Jack Daniel’s RTD and RTP” products include all RTD line extensions of Jack Daniel’s, such as Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, Jack Daniel’s & Diet Cola, Jack & Ginger, Jack Daniel’s Double Jack, Gentleman Jack & Cola, Jack Daniel’s Lynchburg Lemonade, Jack Daniel’s American Serve, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey RTD, Jack Daniel’s Berry, Jack Daniel’s Cider, and the seasonal Jack Daniel’s Winter Jack RTP.
“Premium bourbons” includes Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, and Coopers’ Craft.
“Super-premium American whiskey” includes Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack, JDSB, JDTR, Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select, and Jack Daniel’s No. 27 Gold Tennessee Whiskey.
“Tequila” includes el Jimador, the Herradura family of brands (Herradura), New Mix, Pepe Lopez, and Antiguo.
“Wine” includes Korbel Champagnes and Sonoma-Cutrer wines.
“Vodka” includes Finlandia.
“Non-branded and bulk” includes our net sales of used barrels, bulk whiskey and wine, and contract bottling, regardless of customer location.
Other Metrics.
“Depletions.” We generally record revenues when we ship our products to our customers. Depletions is a term commonly used in the beverage alcohol industry to describe volume. Depending on the context, depletions means either (a) our shipments directly to retail or wholesale customers for owned distribution markets or (b) shipments from our distributor customers to retailers and wholesalers in other markets. We believe that depletions measure volume in a way that more closely reflects consumer demand than our shipments to distributor customers do. In this document, unless otherwise specified, we refer to depletions when discussing volume.
“Consumer takeaway.” When discussing trends in the market, we refer to consumer takeaway, a term commonly used in the beverage alcohol industry that refers to the purchase of product by consumers from retail outlets as measured by volume or retail sales value. This information is provided by third parties, such as Nielsen and the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA). Our estimates of market share or changes in market share are derived from consumer takeaway data using the retail sales value metric. We believe consumer takeaway is a leading indicator of how consumer demand is trending.

29


Significant Developments
Below we discuss the significant developments in our business during fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020. These developments relate to the COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19), tariffs, innovation, acquisitions and divestitures, and capital deployment.
COVID-19
COVID-19 negatively affected our results beginning in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. Year-to-date underlying net sales for the nine months ended January 31, 2020, grew in the low single digits and were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. This was largely reflected in both on-premise (representing nearly 20% of our business) and Travel Retail channels essentially coming to a halt in March and April. Solid off-premise gains across some of our developed markets, which reflected an increase in at-home consumption, pantry loading, and strong growth in the e-premise channel only partially offset the on-premise and Travel Retail declines. While the financial impact of COVID-19 on our results is difficult to measure, it has had an unfavorable impact on our operating income and business operations. We discuss the estimated effect of COVID-19 on our results where relevant below.
Despite the negative effects of COVID-19 on our results in the fourth quarter and the full year, we ended the fiscal year in a strong financial position, and we believe that our capacity to generate solid operating cash flow remains sound, allowing us to navigate this crisis as circumstances evolve. Additionally, we have no current or impending shareholder distributions beyond regular dividends and no maturities of long-term debt until our fiscal 2023. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below for details.
Tariffs
Tariffs negatively affected our results beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, and are expected to continue to have a negative impact on our results as long as tariffs are in place. While our results for fiscal 2020 were negatively affected by tariffs as described below, the year-over-year impact began to ease during the third quarter of fiscal 2020.
Lower net sales. Certain customers paid the incremental costs of tariffs, and we compensated these customers for these incremental costs by reducing our net prices, which lowered our net sales.
Higher cost of sales. In markets where we own inventory, we paid the incremental cost of tariffs, which increased our cost of sales.
The combined effect of these tariff-related costs, whether arising as a reduction of net sales or as an increase in cost of sales, is hereafter referred to as “tariff-related costs.” We discuss the estimated effect of the tariffs on our results where relevant below.
Innovation
Jack Daniel’s family of brands. Innovation within the Jack Daniel’s family of brands has contributed to our growth over the last two years as described below.
In fiscal 2019, we expanded JDTR to several additional markets including France, Travel Retail, Germany, and Poland, and we launched Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond exclusively in Travel Retail.
In fiscal 2020, we launched Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, which was introduced in the United States in the fall of 2019 and a few select international markets in the spring of 2020.
Other American whiskeys. We continue to capitalize on consumers’ interest in premium-plus whiskey with our wide range of brands, including Woodford Reserve and Old Forester.
We introduced Woodford Reserve Straight Malt and Woodford Reserve Straight Wheat in fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020, respectively.
In fiscal 2019, we introduced Old Forester’s first new grain recipe with the launch of Old Forester Rye.
Acquisitions and Divestitures
On July 3, 2019, we acquired 100% of the voting interests in The 86 Company, which owns Fords Gin, for $22 million in cash.



30


Capital Deployment
Beyond the acquisition described above, we have focused our capital deployment initiatives on (a) enabling the expected future growth of our existing businesses through investments in our production capacity, barrel whiskey inventory, and brand-building efforts; and (b) returning cash to our stockholders.
Investments. During fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020, our capital expenditures totaled approximately $230 million and focused on enabling the growth of our premium whiskey brands:
Jack Daniel’s. We expanded our shipping warehouse facility and built two additional warehouses.
Woodford Reserve. We built two additional new warehouses, to support the brand’s strong growth.
Old Forester. We opened the Old Forester Distillery and visitors’ center on Main Street in Louisville, Kentucky, in the summer of 2018.
Slane Irish Whiskey. We opened a new distillery in the summer of 2018.
Brown-Forman Cooperage. We invested in the modernization of our cooperage.
Cash returned to stockholders. During fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020, we returned $0.8 billion to our stockholders through $0.6 billion in regular quarterly dividends, and $0.2 billion in share repurchases.

31


Executive Summary
Fiscal 2020 Highlights
We delivered reported net sales of $3.4 billion, an increase of 1% compared to fiscal 2019. Excluding the negative effect of foreign exchange and an estimated net increase in distributor inventories, underlying net sales were flat. Growth of our premium bourbon brands, the launch of JDTA, and JD RTDs was offset by declines of JDTW and Finlandia. From a geographic perspective, the United States was the largest contributor to our underlying net sales. Declines in Travel Retail, developed international, and emerging markets offset this growth. COVID-19 had a negative impact on our results from both a brand and geographic perspective.
We delivered reported operating income of $1.1 billion, a decrease of 5% compared to fiscal 2019. Excluding an estimated net increase in distributor inventories and the Chambord impairment, underlying operating income declined 6% reflecting higher input and tariff-related costs (defined above) along with an increase in SG&A expense.
We delivered diluted earnings per share of $1.72, a decrease of 1% compared to fiscal 2019, as a reduction in reported operating income was only partially offset by a lower effective tax rate and a decline in non-operating postretirement expense.
Our return on average invested capital decreased to 20.4% in fiscal 2020, compared to 22.0% in fiscal 2019. This decrease was driven by higher average invested capital.
Summary of Operating Performance Fiscal 2019 and Fiscal 2020
 
 
 
 
 
2019 vs. 2020
Fiscal year ended April 30
2019
 
2020
 
Reported Change
 
Underlying Change1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net sales
$
3,324

 
$
3,363

 
1
%
 
%
Cost of sales
1,158

 
1,236

 
7
%
 
7
%
Gross profit
2,166

 
2,127

 
(2
%)
 
(3
%)
Advertising
396

 
383

 
(3
%)
 
(2
%)
SG&A
641

 
642

 
%
 
1
%
Operating income
$
1,144

 
$
1,091

 
(5
%)
 
(6
%)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total operating expenses2
$
1,022

 
$
1,036

 
1
%
 
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As a percentage of net sales3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gross profit
65.2
%
 
63.2
%
 
(2.0
pp)
 
 
Operating income
34.4
%
 
32.4
%
 
(2.0
pp)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest expense, net
$
80

 
$
77

 
(4
%)
 
 
Effective tax rate
19.8
%
 
18.0
%
 
(1.8
pp)
 
 
Diluted earnings per share
$
1.73

 
$
1.72

 
(1
%)
 
 
Return on average invested capital4
22.0
%
 
20.4
%
 
(1.6
pp)
 
 
 
 
1See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above for details on our use of “underlying change,” including how we calculate these measures and why we think this information is useful to readers.
2Operating expenses include advertising expense, SG&A expense, and other expense (income), net.
3Year-over-year changes in percentages are reported in percentage points (pp).
4See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above for details on our use of “return on average invested capital,” including how we calculate this measure and why we think this information is useful to readers.
Fiscal 2021 Outlook
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have taken a “People First” approach to this crisis, taking numerous measures ensuring the health and safety of our employees. We face substantial uncertainty related to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the global economy. We currently expect no material impact on our ability to make, ship, market, and sell our brands to our consumers. Our total number of employees has remained essentially unchanged (since COVID-19), and at this time we

32


expect this to continue as we leverage our people resources by reallocating them toward the off-premise channel and the rapidly growing e-premise channel.
We have increased our focus on the management of our uses of cash, such as reducing spend behind on-premise and global travel retail activities as well as discretionary spend (including hiring and travel freezes), and deferring certain capital expenditures and re-prioritizing where necessary, while continuing to invest behind the business where appropriate.
Further, as COVID-19 and its effect on the global economy continues to evolve, we will continue to closely monitor key developments in our markets, including (a) the stage of recovery, (b) industry and consumer behavior, (c) macroeconomic conditions, and (d) the timing, likelihood, severity, and restrictions associated with any future waves of COVID-19.
As a result of these uncertainties, we are not able to provide quantitative guidance for fiscal 2021 at this time. From a qualitative perspective, we believe that the Travel Retail channel will not recover in fiscal 2021, the on-premise channel recovery will depend on a variety of factors, and emerging markets will likely be slower to recover.
We currently believe that with a strong balance sheet, solid cash flows, and ample liquidity, we will fund ongoing investments in the business and pay regular dividends. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below for details.





33


Results of Operations
Fiscal 2020 Market Highlights
The following table shows net sales results for our ten largest markets, summarized by geographic area, for fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019. We discuss the most significant changes in net sales for each market below the table.
Top 10 Markets
 
 
 
 
Net Sales % Change vs. 2019
Geographic area1
 
% of Fiscal 2020 Net Sales
 
Reported
Foreign Exchange
Estimated Net Chg in Distributor Inventories
 
Underlying2
United States
 
50
%
 
8
%
%
(3
%)
 
5
%
Developed International
 
27
%
 
(2
%)
1
%
(1
%)
 
(1
%)
United Kingdom
 
5
%
 
(10
%)
2
%
%
 
(8
%)
Germany
 
5
%
 
8
%
(1
%)
%
 
7
%
Australia
 
5
%
 
(5
%)
4
%
%
 
(1
%)
France
 
4
%
 
(1
%)
%
%
 
(1
%)
Japan
 
1
%
 
17
%
(2
%)
(14
%)
 
1
%
Canada
 
1
%
 
8
%
%
(8
%)
 
%
Rest of Developed International
 
5
%
 
(5
%)
1
%
1
%
 
(2
%)
Emerging
 
17
%
 
(4
%)
1
%
1
%
 
(1
%)
Mexico
 
5
%
 
(7
%)
%
%
 
(7
%)
Poland
 
3
%
 
(1
%)
3
%
%
 
2
%
Russia
 
2
%
 
6
%
5
%
(3
%)
 
8
%
Rest of Emerging
 
8
%
 
(5
%)
1
%
2
%
 
(1
%)
Travel Retail
 
4
%
 
(11
%)
1
%
1
%
 
(10
%)
Non-branded and bulk
 
2
%
 
(30
%)
%
%
 
(29
%)
Total
 
100
%
 
1
%
1
%
(2
%)
 
%
Note: Results may differ due to rounding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1See “Definitions” above for definitions of market aggregations presented here.
2See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” above for details on our use of “underlying change” in net sales, including how we calculate this measure and why we believe this information is useful to readers.

Net sales in all of the markets discussed below were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020. See “Significant Developments - COVID-19” above for more information around the impact of COVID-19 on our results.
The United States, our most important market, represented 50% of our reported net sales, which grew 8% in fiscal 2020. Underlying net sales increased 5% after adjusting for an estimated net increase in distributor inventories (as a result of distributors building their inventory levels in April 2020 due to the uncertainty around potential supply chain disruptions resulting from COVID-19). Underlying net sales were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter largely due to the closures in the on-premise channel. The underlying net sales gains for the fiscal year were driven by (a) our premium bourbons, led by Woodford Reserve and Old Forester, supported by strong consumer takeaway trends; and (b) the launch of JDTA. This growth was partially offset by declines of JDTW, as lower net pricing partly offset an increase in volumes.
Developed International markets represented 27% of our reported net sales, which declined 2% in fiscal 2020. Underlying net sales decreased 1%, after adjusting for the negative effect of foreign exchange and an estimated net increase in distributor inventories. Year-to-date underlying net sales for the nine months ended January 31, 2020, grew in the low single digits and were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 largely due to the closures in the on-premise channel. The full-year underlying net sales declines were driven by the United Kingdom, partially offset by growth in Germany.
The United Kingdom’s underlying net sales decline was primarily driven by a planned reduction in promotional activities for JDTW, which resulted in lower volumes and an unfavorable channel and size mix. COVID-19 had a further adverse effect on results primarily due to the closures in the on-premise channel.

34


Germany’s underlying net sales growth was fueled by continued volumetric gains of JD RTDs. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on JDTW primarily due to the closures in the on-premise channel, while JD RTDs continued their strong growth in the fourth quarter.
Australia’s underlying net sales decline was driven by lower volumes of JD RTDs and JDTW, partially offset by the volumetric growth of our super-premium American whiskey portfolio. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results primarily due to the closures in the on-premise channel as underlying net sales declined in the fourth quarter.
France’s underlying net sales decline was driven by lower volumes and prices of JDTW, partially offset by the volumetric growth of JDTH along with the launch of JD RTDs. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results primarily due to the closures in the on-premise channel in the fourth quarter.
Japan’s underlying net sales growth was driven by higher volumes of Early Times.
Canada’s underlying net sales were flat as favorable price/mix was offset by lower volumes. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results in the fourth quarter.
Underlying net sales in the Rest of Developed International decreased primarily due to lower JDTW volumes in Spain, a heavily on-premise market, as COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results primarily due to the closures in this channel.
Emerging markets represented 17% of our reported net sales and declined 4% in fiscal 2020. Underlying net sales decreased 1% after adjusting for the negative effect of foreign exchange and an estimated net decrease in distributor inventories. Year-to-date underlying net sales for the nine months ended January 31, 2020, grew in the mid-single digits and were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, which drove our underlying net sales down for the fiscal year. The full-year underlying net sales declines were led by Mexico, partially offset by growth in Turkey, Russia, and China.
Mexico’s underlying net sales declines were driven by lower volumes of New Mix, el Jimador, and JDTW, partially offset by higher pricing of el Jimador. These declines partly reflect the recessionary economy, and were further negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the fourth quarter.
Poland’s underlying net sales growth was driven by the volumetric growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands led by JDTW, Gentleman Jack, and JDTH, partially offset by lower volumes and net prices of Finlandia. Tough comparisons to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 along with the adverse effects of COVID-19 negatively impacted full-year growth.
Russia’s underlying net sales growth was driven by higher volumes of JDTW supported by strong consumer demand. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results in the fourth quarter.
Underlying net sales in the Rest of Emerging decreased as declines of JDTW in sub-Saharan Africa, Romania, and Chile were partially offset by growth for the brand in Turkey and China. COVID-19 had an adverse effect on results in these markets.
Travel Retail represented 4% of our reported net sales and declined 11% in fiscal 2020. Underlying net sales decreased 10% after adjusting for the negative effect of foreign exchange and an estimated net decrease in distributor inventories. Year-to-date underlying net sales for the nine months ended January 31, 2020, declined in the low single digits and were significantly adversely affected by COVID-19 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 largely reflecting the unprecedented implementation of travel bans and other restrictions. The full-year underlying net sales decline was driven by lower volumes of JDTW and Finlandia, partially offset by the volumetric growth of Woodford Reserve.
Non-branded and bulk represented 2% of our reported net sales and declined 30% in fiscal 2020. Underlying net sales decreased 29% after adjusting for the negative effect of foreign exchange. Declines were driven by lower volumes and prices for used barrels along with a decrease in bulk whiskey sales.



35


Fiscal 2020 Brand Highlights
The following table highlights the worldwide results of our largest brands for fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019. We discuss results of the brands most affecting our performance below the table.
Major Brands
 
Volumes
Net Sales % Change vs. 2019
Product category / brand family / brand1
9L Depletions1
 
Reported
Acquisitions & Divestitures
Foreign Exchange
Estimated Net Chg in Distributor Inventories
 
Underlying2
Whiskey
2
%
 
3
%
%
1
%
(2
%)
 
2
%
Jack Daniel’s family of brands
2
%
 
1
%
%
1
%
(2
%)
 
%
JDTW
(3
%)
 
(3
%)
%
1
%
(2
%)
 
(4
%)
JD RTD/RTP
4
%
 
6
%
%
2
%
(1
%)
 
7
%
JDTH
6
%
 
3
%
%
1
%
1
%
 
5
%
Gentleman Jack
7
%
 
5
%
%
%
1
%
 
7
%
JDTF
(1
%)
 
(4
%)
%
1
%
1
%
 
(3
%)
Other Jack Daniel’s whiskey brands
73
%
 
58
%
%
1
%
(17
%)
 
41
%
Woodford Reserve
20
%
 
23
%
%
%
(4
%)
 
19
%
Tequila
(7
%)
 
5
%
%
%
(2
%)
 
2
%
el Jimador
(3
%)
 
8
%
%
%
(3
%)
 
5
%
Herradura
1
%
 
11