• First-quarter sales slide 11.1% to US$1.90bn
  • Europe delivers top-line plunge of 39.5% to $206.9m
  • North America dips 6.3% to $1.69bn in three months to end of March

Molson Coors Beverage Co has struck an upbeat chord for the current year, despite seeing its sales fall by double digits in the first quarter of 2021.

The group today confirmed that sales in the three months to the end of March came in 11.1% down on the corresponding period a year earlier. The main drag came in Europe, where the return of lockdown restrictions in the quarter resulted in a near-40% dive in sales.

In Molson Coors’ domestic region, last month’s warning of an expected impact from a cyberattack and winter storms in Texas were realised – North America’s sales declined by 6.3%. While volumes in both the US and Canada struggled in Q1, the company had a better time of things in Latin America, where volumes increased by just over 10%. Solace also came from the company’s ‘above premium’ beers, which were up in volume terms in the US.

For the second quarter in a row, the coronavirus pandemic caused considerable damage to Molson Coors’ European sales, following a Q4 2020 sales slide of 39.4% with a near-identical 39.5% drop in Q1 this year. The company cited the UK on-premise’s three-month shutdown as a significant contributor to a 17% volumes slide in the region.

CEO Gavin Hattersley

“Despite these three unprecedented and disruptive events that took place in the quarter [cyberattack, winter storms and UK on-premise closures], we continued to make progress against our revitalisation plan focused on driving long-term top-line growth.

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“In the US, Coors Light finished the first quarter of 2021 with the strongest category share performance since the first quarter of 2017, and Coors Banquet posted its best quarterly brand volume performance in over four years.

ZOA Energy Drink has secured a strong retail presence and will begin hitting shelves later in the second quarter of 2021 as we approach Memorial Day, adding real muscle to our beyond beer portfolio.”

Turning to the full-year, Molson Coors maintained the belief that growth is ahead, forecasting a mid-single-digit increase in sales for 2021.

To access Molson Coors’ Q1 2021 results statement, click here.

Molson Coors Performance Trends 2016-20 – results data