Fortune Brands turns to profit in Q4

Fortune Brands has reported net income of $11.5m or $0.08 per diluted share for the fourth quarter o

Net sales for the quarter was $1.8bn, an increase of 1% compared to $1.79bn in the same quarter previous year. Operating income for the quarter was $47.3m.

For the full year 2009 net sales was $6.69bn, a decrease of 12% compared to the prior year. Operating income for the year was $505.2m. Operating income before charges was $718.9m.

Carbonari, chairman and chief executive officer of Fortune Brands, said: "Fortune Brands enters 2010 with strong brands, efficient cost structures and teams built to win. Our goals in the year ahead are to return to growth in earnings per share before charges/gains, outperform our markets in growth and returns, and generate strong free cash flow. We intend to boost brand-building investment in 2010, with the level dependent on the extent of consumer recovery and our earnings growth as the year unfolds.

"Accordingly, we're currently targeting to deliver diluted EPS before charges/gains for 2010 in the range of $2.3 to $2.8. We begin 2010 with an assumption that the markets for each of our three brand groups will be flat to up at a low-single-digit rate. We also expect that higher costs for energy and raw materials will likely offset the expected benefits of foreign exchange."