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  • FY net profits up 402% to US$1.94bn 
  • Net sales in 12 months to end of February increase 70% to $5.41bn
  • Operating profits climb 366% to $2.44bn
  • Beer unit increases sales by 10%

Constellation Brands has reported a big jump in full-year profits and sales after its newly-acquired beer business drove growth.

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Net profits in the 12 months to the end of February were up 402% to US$1.94bn, Constellation said today (9 April). Net sales increased by 70% to $5.41bn in the same period, while operating profits climbed by 366% to $2.44bn.

Constellation said the acquisition of Crown Imports, the US beer business it previously shared with Grupo Modelo, brought in $2bn in incremental net sales. Since the takeover last year, Constellation's beer segment has increased sales by 10% on the back of strong consumer demand, the US-based company said.

"Our beer business exceeded our expectations for the year fuelled by robust consumer demand, strong sales execution and support from our wholesalers," Constellation CEO Rob Sands said. "The overall portfolio continued to significantly outperform the growth of the US beer market with depletions increasing almost 8%, driven by Corona Extra and Modelo Especial, the fastest growing major beer brand."

Meanwhile, wine and spirits net sales on an organic constant currency basis increased 2% in fiscal 2013-4.

The results made better reading for management after costs bit into profits last year, despite an increase in sales.

Fourth-quarter results were similar, with net profits in the three months to the end of February up 92% to US$157m. Net sales increased by 86% to $1.29bn in the same period, while operating profits climbed by 159% to $329m.

Constellation said investment in the Mexican brewery it acquired as part of the Crown Imports deal will now be between $900m and $1.1bn compared to an initial estimate of between US$500m to $600m. "We remain confident in our ability to complete this project in calendar 2016," Constellation said.

Looking ahead, the company is targeting mid to high single-digit net sales growth for its beer segment and low- to mid-20% growth in fiscal 2014-5. For wine and spirits, the company expects net sales and operating profits growth to be in the low to mid single-digit range.

To read Constellation's official statement, click here.

CORRECTION: This article was updated on 3 July. The original used fourth-quarter numbers instead of full-year figures.


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