Molson Coors says cheers to H1 growth

Molson Coors says cheers to H1 growth

Molson Coors has reported rises in beer sales and net profits for the first half of 2010.

Net sales for the six months to the end of June reached US$1.54bn, versus $1.35bn in the first half of 2009, the North American brewer said today (3 August).

Beer sales rose particularly strongly in Canada and the UK, driven by some volume improvement and price rises.

MillerCoors, the group's 50-50 joint venture with SABMiller in the US, was the only division to report a drop in sales for the half-year.

However, strong cost controls at MillerCoors helped Molson Coors to increase its net profits for the six-month period to $341.8m from $263m in the same period of last year.

Operating profits rose less steeply, but still reached $402.6m against $380.5m a year earlier.

"Our brand and innovation strategies supported total-company pricing growth, while cost savings provided the resources to grow profitability despite challenging economic and beer industry conditions," said Molson Coors' CEO, Peter Swinburn.

"In the US, strong cost management and higher net pricing drove double-digit earnings growth," he said.

"In Canada, although underlying pretax income declined 3% in local currency, we grew volume and market share and reduced our cost of goods sold per hectolitre.

"In the UK, profits declined due to a non-cash increase in pension expense, but we achieved solid top-line performance, growing volume and price in the quarter."

For the full announcement, click here.