MillerCoors, the US brewing venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, has reported rises in net sales revenue and earnings for the first half of 2009, despite a drop in beer sales by volume.

Net sales for the six months to 30 June rose by 2% to US$4.5bn, with net profits up 64% to $510.9m, compared to combined results in the US divisions of SABMiller and Molson Coors in the first half of 2008, the groups announced today (03 August).

MillerCoors has yet to complete its first fiscal year.

Beer sales by volume slipped from 35.9m barrels last year to 35.2m.

Volume sales to US retailers and wholesalers were down by around 1% in the second quarter, but net sales for the three months rose by 1.6% due to higher pricing, MillerCoors said.

"Since combining operations last July, we have achieved double-digit growth in underlying earnings for four consecutive quarters," said MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely.

MillerCoors has delivered $110m in synergies and expects to achieve $260m of cumulative synergies by the end of calendar 2009, surpassing its original commitment of $225m for the year.

For the company announcement, click here.

For the group's first quarter results, click here.

An update of this story, following the brewer's results conference call, appears here.