Cost savings hold up profits at MillerCoors

Cost savings hold up profits at MillerCoors

Molson Coors and SABMiller's brewing venture, MillerCoors, has continued to suffer from sluggish consumer demand for beer in the US in the first quarter of 2010.

Net sales slipped to US$1.7bn for the three months to the end of March, down by 1% from $1.71bn in the same period of 2009, said MillerCoors today (4 May).

Beer volume sales fell by around 4%, said the group, which is a 50-50 controleld by Molson Coors and SABMiller.

Higher raw materials costs combined with a fall in net sales to cause a fall in MillerCoors operating profits, to $212.5m versus $213.8m a year earlier.

However, cost savings together with synergies from the fusion of Molson Coors and SABMiller units helped the brewer to increase net profits to US$208.6m from $206m in 2009.

"As we continue to deal with economic and competitive pressures, we remain focused on building our brands and managing costs,” said MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely.

MillerCoors said that it remains on track to deliver $750m in total synergies and other cost savings by the end of 2012. In the first quarter, it achieved $53m in synergies and $7m in additional cost savings.

Click here for Molson Coors Q1 results, also announced today.