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How did Molson Coors perform in Q1 2019? - results data

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  • Three-month organic sales climb 1%
  • Reported Q1 sales dip 1% to US$2.3bn
  • Volumes down 5% on US, Canada performance

Molson Coors edged up first quarter sales despite North American beer volume declines that continue to dog brewers in the region.

Organic sales for the Miller Lite owner were up 1% in the three-months to the end of March, typically the group's smallest quarter of the year. At the same time, global beer volumes were down 5%, with Molson Coors blaming falls in the US and Canada.

Brand volumes in the US were down 4%, which Molson Coors said was reflective of industry declines. In Canada, brand volumes were down 6%.

Molson Coors 2019 - Sales versus 2018 - Reported

Source: Company results

A number of bigger brewers in the US are facing beer volumes challenges. In full-year results in February, Anheuser-Busch InBev said its core and core light segments were under pressure in the country, while this week Boston Beer Co said it was "disappointed" in trends for its Samuel Adams brand.

Despite the Q1 volumes drops, Molson Coors said it was "encouraged" by the "increasingly strong" performance of Miller Lite, which held total beer industry share. It also praised an "improved performance" for Coors Light in the US, without giving details.

The company has invested in the two core light brands, including through retaliatory ads after rival A-B InBev beer Bud Light attacked the ingredients of Miller Lite.

Meanwhile, Molson Coors said Q1 saw continuing strong net sales growth in Europe, its second largest business unit. Overall, reported group net sales dropped 1% to US$2.3bn.

Molson Coors Q1 2019 - Sales by Region - Reported

Source: Company results

Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter 

"Across Molson Coors I am pleased with the continuing acceleration of our portfolio premiumisation efforts alongside our intensified innovation program, and the growth in our underlying EBITDA, which, despite higher inflation, grew on a constant currency basis." 

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