Beam CEO sees independence driving growth

By Martinne Geller

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Beam Inc <BEAM.N> Chief Executive Matthew Shattock thinks the spotlight will be good for his newly independent alcoholic drinks company.

"The ability to go out and chart our destiny as a stand-alone business ..., I think that is going to be a different and even more positive driver for the performance of our company," Shattock said in an interview.

Shattock declined to give a specific earnings forecast, but said Beam's long-term goal is high single-digit earnings growth. Other goals are to outperform the market in sales, have operating income grow faster than sales, and have earnings per share grow faster than operating income.

Shattock has been the CEO of Beam since April 2009, but up until this week the business was part of the conglomerate Fortune Brands Inc. Fortune on Monday spun off its home goods unit, now called Fortune Brands Home & Security <FBHS.N>, and changed its name to Beam.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Richard Chang)