US: MillerCoors' Q1 profits healthy, but sales flat

• First-quarter net profits up 7.4% to US$291.9m
• Net sales flat at $1.79bn
• Operating profits rise 8.4% to $297.5m
• Volumes (sales to wholesalers) slip 3.2% to 14.05m barrels

MillerCoors saw its first-quarter profits boosted by cost savings and lower marketing spend, but sales were flat. The SABMiller and Molson Coors US joint-venture reported on May 7 that net profits in the three months to the end of March rose by 7.4% to US$291.9m. Sales in the period were flat however at $1.79bn.

Operating profits in the period climbed by 8.4% to $297.5m. Sales to US wholesalers fell by 3.2% to 14.05m barrels. The brewer said its profits growth was driven by "positive pricing and sales mix, cost savings, and lower marketing spending, primarily due to timing differences versus last year".

The Coors Light and Miller Lite brands both saw volumes slip "mid-single digits" in the quarter. The brewer said its "above premium" portfolio grew "high teens" in the quarter helped by the launch of Miller Fortune and its Redd's brand.

The company's "craft" unit, Tenth & Blake, Tsaw volumes slip "mid-single digits", due tdouble-digit declines in Blue Moon seasonals, Henry Weinhard’s, Killian’s and Batch 19. Coors Banquet grew "mid-single" digits in the quarter.

To read the company's full statement click the following link: