In a familiar story in this new age of global consolidated major-brewers, MillerCoors domestic sales to retailers was down 1.6 percent in the first-quarter but net income rose 16.6 percent to $275.3 million compared with the same period last year, driven by positive pricing growth, cost management and favorable product mix. Overall profits were up 16.6%.
MillerCoors also has been working to reposition some of its top brands, such as Miller Lite and Miller64, and has continued to deliver strong growth from its Tenth and Blake Beer Co., the unit focused on craft and import beers, Long said.
Premium light beer sales to retailers were down low-single digits in the first quarter. Miller Lite declined low single digits and launched new advertising and brand positioning themed “It’s Miller Time” in mid-March. Miller64 volumes were lower than volumes in the prior year, but a new brand positioning was introduced in early March with new advertising and packaging, MillerCoors management noted.