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Fortune Brands Inc (FBI)


Thursday 18 March, 2004

Fortune Brands Inc

Fortune Brands Raises First Quarter Earnings

Fortune Brands Inc

Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), a leading consumer brands company, today raised
its earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2004.

In remarks prepared for delivery to the Reuters Consumer Products & Retail
Summit, Fortune Brands chairman and CEO Norm Wesley said, 'The year is off to a
great start for Fortune Brands. The strong momentum that fueled our excellent
fourth quarter has continued into the early months of 2004. We are seeing
broad-based demand for our brands, the continued benefit of supply chain
efficiencies and the favorable effects of foreign exchange. Each of our
businesses is performing at or above our expectations.

'We indicated in January that we expected to comfortably achieve our long-term
goal of double-digit growth in EPS before charges/gains for both the first
quarter and full-year. Analysts currently estimate that our first quarter EPS
before charges/gains will be in a range of 76-81 cents. We expect that our first
quarter EPS before charges/gains will exceed the top of that range, growing 19%
or more. For the full year, while it's still early, our performance so far
reinforces our confidence that we will comfortably achieve our long-term growth
goals and improve our returns, as well.'

The company expects that EPS will also grow 19% or more on a GAAP basis for the
first quarter.

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a $6 billion leading consumer brands company. Its
operating companies have premier brands and leading market positions in home and
hardware products, spirits and wine, golf equipment and office products. Home
and hardware brands include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Schrock, Diamond and
Omega cabinets, Therma-Tru door systems, Master Lock padlocks and Waterloo tool
storage sold by units of Fortune Brands Home & Hardware, Inc. Major spirits and
wine brands sold by units of Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc. include Jim Beam
and Knob Creek bourbons, DeKuyper cordials, The Dalmore single malt Scotch, Vox
vodka and Geyser Peak and Wild Horse wines. Acushnet Company's golf brands
include Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy. Office brands include Swingline, Wilson
Jones, Kensington and Day-Timer sold by units of ACCO World Corporation. Fortune
Brands, headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is traded on the New York Stock
Exchange under the ticker symbol FO and is included in the S&P 500 Index.

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This press release contains statements relating to future results, which are
forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking
statements speak only as of the date hereof. Actual results may differ
materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties,
including but not limited to changes in general economic conditions, foreign
exchange rate fluctuations, changes in interest rates, returns on pension
assets, competitive product and pricing pressures, trade consolidations, the
impact of excise tax increases with respect to distilled spirits, regulatory
developments, the uncertainties of litigation, changes in golf equipment
regulatory standards, the impact of weather, particularly on the home products
and golf brand groups, expenses and disruptions related to shifts in
manufacturing to different locations and sources, changes in commodity costs,
the impact of weak conditions in the leisure travel industry on our golf and
spirits and wine businesses, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed
from time to time in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

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