Jim Beam & Maker's Mark lead Beam Suntory growth Posted by: Alana House August 09, 2017 Bourbon sales have been credited with delivering "mid-single-digit growth" to Beam Suntory in the six months to June 30, 2017. According to privately-owned parent company Suntory Holdings, Beam Suntory's Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark are the main drivers behind the slight improvement on first quarter results. Net sales for the Alcoholic Beverages Segment were 480.5 billion yen, up 3.1% year on year, and operating income was 41.9 billion yen, up 6.1% year on year. Its Japan business reported 5% year-on-year sales growth, with Chita and Torys Classic whiskys delivering strong growth. The Americas region saw “especially strong performances” from Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Tequila brand Hornitos. Internationally, there was “rising global demand” for Jim Beam, and an “excellent” performance for Beam’s portfolio in Europe and South East Asia. In ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages, case volumes were up by 13%, with canned highball products growing “significantly”. As a result, Beam Suntory is “actively expanding” the promotion of Jim Beam Highball, with a focus on “strengthening activities” in Asian countries. Australia has been identified as a leading market for the product, and was the second country after Japan to launch Jim Beam Citrus Highball last year. "We are actively expanding overseas with the 'highball' style of drinking that originated in Japan, through the promotion of Jim Beam Highball," said Suntory's senior MD, Shinichiro Hizuka. "Currently, we are strengthening activities in various Asian countries, and the number of restaurants and bars handling this product is increasing." Beer volumes were flat, with the overall market estimated to be down about 1% year on year. "We are aiming to achieve full-year forecasts through proactive initiatives in the second half," Hizuka noted. Suntory said it expects full-year group sales to be 1.5% up on 2016.