• Q1 net profits fall by 21% to US$82.9m
  • Operating profits rise by 17% to $126m
  • Net sales up by 4.4% to $690.4m
  • Price rises and lower costs drive underlying profits growth in the quarter
Molson Coors reports mixed Q1 figures, higher prices drive sales

Molson Coors reports mixed Q1 figures, higher prices drive sales

Molson Coors has said that underlying momentum in its business is improving, despite seeing first quarter profits fall by a fifth against a tough comparative figure.

Net profits declined as the brewer cycled a one-off gain of $42.6m that boosted profits in the first quarter of 2010. Excluding this, net profits from continuing operations for the three months to the end of March 2011 rose by 31% to $82.4m, driven by higher pricing and cost savings, said the Canada-based brewer today (3 May).

The group's joint venture with SABMiller in the US, MillerCoors, contributed strongly to underlying profits growth, as did Molson Coors' UK business, which doubled pre-tax profits for the quarter.

"In the first quarter, our company increased underlying after-tax earnings by 17% and expanded margins significantly, despite continuing challenges from sluggish core-market economies, weak industry volume and accelerating global commodity inflation," said Molson Coors' CEO, Peter Swinburn.

Demand for Molson Coors' beers remained weak in key markets. In Canada, the group's volume sales fell by 6% over the three months. In the US, MillerCoors reported volume sale to retailers down by 1.7%, albeit an improvement on the previos five quarters. In the UK, meanwhile, volume sales to retailers fell by 1.6% against a UK market down by 4% over the same period.

For the full announcement, click here.