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US: MillerCoors sees nine-month profits, beer sales drop

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  • Nine-month net profits fall by 11% to US$809.8m
  • Net sales dip by 1% to $5.8bn
  • Operating profits down by 11% to $824.3mm
  • Volumes fall by 3.5% as weak beer demand hits results

MillerCoors has fallen foul of tough economic conditions and higher commodity costs in the first nine months of 2011, reporting drops in both sales and profits.

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Double-digit volume sales growth at the brewer's craft and import beer division, Tenth & Blake, failed to offset ongoing weakness in MillerCoors' mainstream beer business. Net sales for the nine months to the end of September dipped by 1%, to US$5.8bn, as price rises failed to offset a 3.5% drop in volumes, it reported today (2 November).

In the third quarter, the decline was more pronounced, with volumes down by 4% on the same period of last year and net sales down by 2.5%, to $1.96bn. Higher commodity costs and one-off charges piled pressure onto operating profits, which fell by 11% for the nine months, to $824.3m.

Nine-month net profits fell by the same margin to $809.8m, as cost savings proved unable to offset difficulties at the top-line, said the group, which is a joint-venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors. Third-quarter net profits fell by 44% to $176.4m, further damaged by a one-off write-down charge on the Sparks brand. 

"Despite the toughest headwinds we've seen as a company, we slightly improved our sales to retailer trend this quarter versus last quarter and continued to deliver our cost savings commitments," said MillerCoors' CEO, Tom Long. "We remain focused on driving profitable top-line and share growth with a strong and steady commitment to our brands."

The performance impacted Molson Coors over the same period, with the Canada-based brewer also reporting a drop in nine-month profits today

For the company's announcement, click here.

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