Focus - MillerCoors' Q2 results by Brand

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MillerCoors yesterday reported a rise in first-half sales and profits, helped by a 2.2% lift in second-quarter sales. Here, we take a look at the JV's Q2 results by brand: 

Premium lights continue to struggle for the group. MillerCoors said Coors Light and Miller Lite - both saw low-single digit declines in their sales to retailers (STRs). However, there was some good news around Miller Lite, as the canned format of the brand saw sales up “mid-single” digits in the quarter, the brewer said. This was helped by the launch of the brand's “original” can from the 1970s, backed by an ad campaign. A further updated design will be launched in October, MillerCoors said. 

The Coors Light extension - Summer Brew - has yet to set the world alight, capturing 0.5 share points of the premium light segement. 

MillerCoors' sales in the quarter were propped up the growth of what the company calls its “above premium” portfolio, which saw STRs rise “double digits” in the quarter. 

This, the company said, was “driven primarily” by Redd's and Leinenkugel’s. Volumes of Redd's in Q2 “more than doubled” on the same period last year, MillerCoors said, without detailing total volumes. A higher ABV apple version of the brand was launched this week

On the company's two big launches this year, the results appeared fairly muted so far. No hard sales figures were given. But the JV said Miller Fortune, launched in February, captured 0.2 share points of the "total industry" in Q2, but is the fourth largest growth brand in the category, according to Nielsen.  

In an interview with just-drinks earlier this year, MillerCoors sales president, Ed McBrien said Miller Fortune would be a "large standalone brand" and "not a niche play".

Meanwhile, Smith & Forge Hard Cider, launched in March, gained the most value and volume share within the cider segment in the quarter, according to Nielsen.

Still early days for both these brands. 

More worrying maybe for the group, is the fact that its craft unit - Tenth and Blake Beer Company - saw a low-single digits Q2 sales decline in the second quarter. “High-single digit growth of the Leinenkugel’s franchise and low-single digit growth of Blue Moon Belgian White partially offset double digit declines in Henry Weinhard’s, which was strategically de-prioritised and has returned to being a regional brand”, the company said. 

MillerCoors' "premium regular" portfolio was down low-single digits in the second quarter, driven by double digit declines in Miller Genuine Draft. "This was partially offset by high-single digit growth of Coors Banquet, which has now grown for more than seven consecutive years," the company said. 

Miller High Life saw sales dip "mid-single digits" in Q2, while Keystone Light declined high-single digits.

To read an exclusive just-drinks analysis on how MillerCoors might be affected by the potential merger of SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev, click here 

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