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CANADA: Price rises, savings drive Molson Coors' Q3

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  • Price rises boost beer sales
  • Volume declines in UK, US
  • Cost savings drive profits increase

Price rises and cost savings helped Molson Coors to increase both net sales and profits in the third quarter of 2010, despite lower consumer demand for its beers.

Molson Coors sold less beer in its key US and UK markets during the 13 weeks to 25 September, dragging the brewer's total volume sales down by 4% on the same period of 2009.

But, price increases and lower costs helped the Canada-based group to increase net sales for the period by 2.5% to US$875m. Molson Coors' CEO and president, Peter Swinburn, said the company had remained "sharply focused" on building brands, innovation and cost savings during the quarter.

Savings in Canada and the UK, as well as the firm's share of synergies from its MillerCoors joint venture with SABMiller in the US, helped operating profits to rise by 27% to $300.9m for the quarter. Net profits attributed to Molson Coors rose by almost 9% to $256.1m.

Swinburn highlighted double-digit growth in underlying pretax profits in the US, UK and Canada. "Each of these businesses achieved positive pricing, substantial cost reductions and significant margin expansion in the quarter," he said.

However, he said that profits momentum is likely to slow in the fourth quarter. For the first nine months of 2010, Molson Coors increased net sales by 9.4% to $2.42bn. Net profits jumped by 20%, meanwhile, to $597.9m.

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