Third quarter profit up despite drop in volume
Driven by strong revenue growth, cost management and continued synergies post-merger, SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company reported double-digit profit growth for MillerCoors for the quarter ended September 30, 2009.
Premium light brand volumes Miller Lite, Coors Light and MGD 64 were down low-single digits largely due to a decline in Miller Lite, which was partially offset by MGD 64 growth. Miller Lite STRs were down mid-single digits and Coors Light STRs were down slightly.
MillerCoors faux-craft and import portfolio grew slightly during the quarter, led by high-single-digit growth of Blue Moon and low-single-digit growth of Peroni Nastro Azzurro.
Earnings were up 28% to $244 million in the quarter with a reported $73 million saved in cost synergies versus the prior year. Domestic sales-to-retailers were down 1.3 percent due to a decline in premium light volumes and continued softness in above premium and premium brands. Domestic sales-to-wholesalers fell 0.7 percent, primarily driven by lower retail sales.
“We are delivering our synergies, controlling costs and managing revenue for sustainable profit growth,” said MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely. “In this challenging economic environment, we’re also realizing the benefit of a well balanced portfolio that offers consumers choice and variety in all segments.”