• Q1 net profits rise by 11% to US$236.8m
  • Operating profits up by 12% to $238.3m
  • Net sales dip by 0.1% to $1.699bn
  • Beer volumes still down but decline softens
MillerCoors beer sales decline softens, Q1 profits up by 11%

MillerCoors' beer sales decline softens, Q1 profits up by 11%

Cost savings have again boosted MillerCoors' profits in the first quarter of 2011, although the brewer's rate of beer sales decline has softened.

Profits growth during the three months to the end of March was driven ongoing savings related to the formation of MillerCoors by Molson Coors and SABMiller, said MillerCoors today (3 May).

The brewer, which is the second biggest in the US behind Anheuser-Busch InBev, managed to keep sales flat against the first quarter of 2010 via higher prices and stronger sales of more expensive beers in its portfolio. Volume sales to retailers fell by 1.4%, while sales to wholesalers dropped by 2.5% during the quarter.

Miller Genuine Draft was one of the group's biggest losers over the three months, with volumes down mid-single digits.

Despite the ongoing decline, MillerCoors said that it is encouraged by volume trends. Its sales to retailers figure is the best performance in six quarters.

MillerCoors craft and import portfolio, managed by its wholly-owned Tenth and Blake Beer Co, improved volume sales by 14% in the quarter, driven by double-digit increases for Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's. Coors Light also increased volumes in low single digits. 

"Our continued success in building brand equity, driving positive mix, as well as strong cost management contributed to a good start out of the blocks in 2011," said Leo Kiely, MillerCoors' outgoing CEO.

For the full announcement, click here.