Molson Coors Beverage Co. today (2 November) upped its forecast for underlying profits, with its CEO hailing “incredible growth” in the third quarter.

The Coors Light owner is forecasting its underlying income before income taxes will jump 32-36% in 2023 (when it reached $1.1bn).

Molson Coors’ previous estimate was for an increase of 23-26%.

The US group said the lift was “primarily due” to its higher net sales in the third quarter, as well as the benefit from lower interest costs.

“Our third-quarter results represent another quarter of incredible growth across our global business and we are on track to deliver a second straight year of top and bottom-line growth,” president and CEO Gavin Hattersley said.

In the three months to 30 September, Molson Coors generated net sales of $3.3bn, up 12.4% on a year earlier.

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The Carling owner’s “financial volumes” increased 3.2%, thanks to its business in the Americas. Molson Coors said that growth had been partially offset by a decrease in financial volumes in its EMEA and APAC business.

Brand volumes were up 1.1% due to a 3.6% rise in the Americas. The EMEA and APAC division reported a 5.2% decline amid “industry softness” and inflationary pressures on the consumer in central and eastern Europe, Molson Coors said.

The company’s third-quarter underlying income before income taxes jumped 44.1% to $525.4m.

Molson Coors’ net income almost doubled from $216.4m to $430.7m.

“The improvement in our business is not limited to one market, a couple brands, or one segment of the category and the improvement in our business started before April 1,” Hattersley said.

Molson Coors has been a beneficiary from the tumbling sales of Bud Light in the US after the controversy over a marketing push owner Anheuser-Busch InBev undertook with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney,

Hattersley added: “We believe these gains are sustainable and the strength of our brands coupled with the work we are doing gives us confidence we can maintain the gains we have achieved and grow off of them.”

Shares in Molson Coors – up more than 15% in 2023 – were down 1.39% on the day at $57.28 at 18:03 GMT.

“Top-line results were a touch better than expectations,” analysts at AllianceBernstein wrote in a note to clients.

“While the group did benefit from lower-than-expected net interest expense, lower fixed costs in both segments were the real tailwind.”