• Full-year net profits drop by 4.4% to US$676.3m
  • Net sales rise by 8% to $3.5bn
  • Operating profits up by 3.3% to $893.2m
  • Excluding 53rd week in 2011 results, global volumes dipped by 0.1%

 

Molson Coors has reported a drop in full-year profits, despite higher beer sales.

For the 12 months to the end of December, Molson Coors said today (16 February) that net profits dropped by 4.4% to US$676.3m. However, the Canada-based brewer said that underlying after-tax income, prior to one-off items, rose by 5% versus 2010. 

The somewhat mixed picture was reflected at the top-line as net sales rose by 8%, to $3.5bn, even though total worldwide volume sales dipped by close to 1% on 2010. The firm added that its 2011 fiscal year benefited from a 53rd week.

Canada and the group's international business, mostly spanning Eastern Europe and Asia, drove the net sales increase. Price discounting damaged net sales per hectolitre of beer in the UK, while firm's joint-venture with SABMiller, MillerCoors, suffered from ongoing weak consumer demand for beer in the US.

Molson Coors' president and CEO, Peter Swinburn, focused on an improved fourth quarter. He said: "The fourth quarter for Molson Coors was a positive finish to a challenging year, with underlying after-tax income up more than 42%, earnings per share up 47% and net sales growth of 12%. The fourth quarter benefited from solid pricing, an additional week in our fiscal 2011 calendar and cycling comparatively weak quarterly results the year before."   

In 2012, Molson Coors said that it would invest behind its core brands and expand further into emerging markets. It said that it will pursue mergers and acquisitions "when it meets out strict shareholder return criteria".

For the company announcement, click here.