How did Molson Coors Beverage Co perform in 2019? - results data

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  • Full-year sales come in flat, dipping 0.6% to US$10.58bn
  • Volumes in 12 months decrease 3.5%
  • Sales in three months to end of December rise 3% to $2.49bn
  • 2020 sees move from four business units to two

A strong finish to the year in 2019 has helped the newly-named Molson Coors Beverage Co to report flat sales from the 12-month period.

The North American group said earlier today that its fourth-quarter sales were up 3% on the corresponding period a year earlier. The healthier showing was credited in part to its efforts to premiumise the portfolio.

The 3% lift in Q4 followed the 2% fall in sales from the first nine months of the year, announced in late-October. Subsequently, Molson Coors' top-line in 2019 was level with the year before.

Molson Coors 2019 - Sales versus 2018 - Reported

Source: Company results

A 3.5% slide in volumes last year highlighted the success of the group's premiumisation efforts, emphasised by a rise in sales-per-hectolitre of 2.9%. The group said it had to deal with "challenging industry dynamics, particularly in the US and Canada".

Looking at the final three months, the US and Canada cancelled each other out, with the former growing sales by 4.7% (to $1.68bn) and the latter falling back by 4.8% ($307.1m). The company's economy-priced beer offerings were down in the US in volume terms, while 'premium light and above-premium' saw its trends "improve" in the country.

Europe came in 2.1% up in the three months to the end of December as sales totalled $469.3m. Similar to the US, Molson Coor's premium portfolio did well in the region, reporting a higher lift in volumes in Q4 than for the full year.

Finally, the rest of Molson Coors' markets, grouped as 'International', posted a rise of 7.5% to 62m.

Molson Coors 2019 - Sales by Region - Reported

Source: Company results

CEO Gavin Hattersley

"Full-year 2019 was a challenging year for Molson Coors Beverage Co. However, despite significant headwinds and continued volume declines, we grew net sales revenue per hectolitre and improved our mix, delivered strong free cash flow and cost savings, reduced our debt, and started making progress toward premiumising and modernising our portfolio."

"We know we have a lot of work still to do. That's why last quarter we announced a plan to get Molson Coors back to consistent topline growth. The plan is designed to streamline the company, allow us to move faster and free up resources to invest in our brands and capabilities. As promised in October, we've wasted no time in implementing the plan."

Molson Coors also said in today's results announcement that Q4 included a "net special charge" of $42.4m. The hit was due to "restructuring charges related to our revitalisation plan" along with "accelerate depreciation related to brewery closures". In January, the group revealed plans to shutter the brewery in Irwindale, California.

Moving forward, the company has forecast a flat-to-low-single-digit dip in sales in 2020. The first quarter of this year will also see Molson Coors transition from four buiness units to two: North America and Europe.

To access Molson Coors' official full-year results statement, click here.

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