Constellation bought the Crown Imports business in 2013

Constellation bought the Crown Imports business in 2013

Constellation Brands' beer business has continued to ignite performance as the company posted another FY sales leap.

Net sales in the 12 months to the end of February were up by 24% year-on-year to US$6.03bn, the group said today. Reported net profits were down by 57% to $839m but the comparison was affected by a fiscal 2014 non-cash gain of $1.6bn that drove a 402% leap in net profits in the year-prior. Underlying net profits for today's fiscal 2015 were up 39% to $893m.

The fiscal 2014 net gain also affected operating profits, which were down by 38% to $1.5bn. On an underlying basis, they increased by 35% to $1.6bn.

Constellation said the acquisition in 2013 of Crown Imports, the US beer business it previously shared with Grupo Modelo, was again the main engine for the sales and underlying profits increases, after gains made last year.

Net sales for the beer segment increased by 12% while beer depletions grew by 8%.

Constellation's CEO, Rob Sands, said: "We have completed another year of impressive results propelled by our Mexican beer business, which continues its incredible momentum and remains strongly positioned to generate ongoing sustainable growth."

Fourth-quarter results were also strong, with net sales in the three months to the end of February increasing by 5% to $1.36bn. Net profits were up 37% to $215m in the same period, while operating profits climbed by 7% to $354m.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2016, Constellation said its beer business is targeting mid-single digit volume growth, high-single digit net sales growth and 10-12% operating profits growth. For the wine and spirits business, the company expects net sales and operating profits growth to be in the low-to-mid-single digit range.

To read the company's full results, click here.