Molson Coors wants to target the above-premium category

Molson Coors wants to target the above-premium category

Molson Coors' international unit is “smack on plan”, the brewer's CEO has said despite admitting it won't turn a profit until 2016.

In second-quarter results released today (6 August), Molson Coors International, which includes the brewer's business outside of the US, Canada and Europe, posted an underlying pre-tax loss of $2.4m. In Q1 the unit reported a $11m loss.

However, in a conference call with analysts after the results, Molson Coors head Paul Swinburn rubbished suggestions the international arm is not performing to plan.

“We are absolutely in line with making this business profitable,” Swinburn said, citing 2016 as the year it will come out of the red.

MCI president Kandy Anand said that without negative headwinds such as the loss of sales from a discontinued China JV, MCI volumes increased low-single digits in the last four weeks of the quarter.

The increase came despite “unprecedented” rain in India, Anand said.

Meanwhile, Swinburn also said 9% of Molson Coors' brand volumes now come from its “above-premium” category, which the brewer is focussing on in the face of declines in premium light beer. Redd's Apple Ale extension Redd's Strawberry Ale is expected to launch this autumn, bolstering Molson's above-premium portfolio, Swinburn said.

In an investors call in June, Swinburn said Molson Coors is targeting line extensions instead of packaging innovations to help boost margins.