NEW YORK - Brown-Forman Corp, the maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey and Southern Comfort, reported higher quarterly profit on Wednesday, as lower expenses helped offset the impact of lower sales.

Brown-Forman said it earned $121.4 million, or 81 cents per share, for its fiscal first quarter ended July 31, up from $88.2 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier.

The year-earlier results included an 11 cent per share charge related to dying agave plants, which are used to make tequila.

Net sales fell to $737.9 million from $790.0 million a year earlier.

The company affirmed its fiscal 2010 earnings per share outlook, saying it still expects to earn $2.60 to $3.00. (Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)