Molson Coors Sales Nearly Double, But Net Falls 52%

Molson Coors Beverage Co. reports sales increased 5.9% in the first quarter to $2.35 billion.  Net income was $72.5 million, or 33 cents a share, a 52% drop from 151.5 million, or 70 cents a share.

The company nearly doubled its bottom line on an adjusted basis and grew revenue across both its Americas and EMEA & APAC business units. Molson Coors’ results were buoyed by the strength of its core and above-premium brands and strong pricing across its global markets.

Gavin Hattersley, Molson Coors’ president and CEO, said the first-quarter results reflect the company’s continued progress and demonstrate the strength of the company’s foundation.

“Our iconic core brands remain healthy, and our premiumization strategy is working as we see continued momentum across our newest brands in above-premium beer and beyond,” he said.

Coors Light and Miller Lite, Molson Coors’ core brands in the U.S., grew revenue by double digits in the first quarter, while Molson Canadian and Coors Light turned in sales gains in Canada. The company’s business in Europe and Asia, meanwhile, grew 7.6%, fueled by premiumization, including the continued strength of Madrí Excepcional, which now ranks as the No. 8-best-selling brand in the U.K.

While Hattersley praised Molson Coors’ results, he cautioned that the first-quarter growth rate should not be applied to the entirety of 2023, noting a few one-time benefits from lapping pandemic-related restrictions in some countries and strong pricing in January and February. He also said continued economic uncertainty and the global consumer outlook could affect future results.

In the U.S., Coors Light and Miller Lite each grew revenue by double digits in the first quarter and held total industry dollar share. Miller Lite ranked as a top-10 growth brand, per Circana data. Hattersley said both brands benefited from Molson Coors’ first national Super Bowl ad campaign in 30 years, growing displays leading up to the game, and Coors Light was a top-three brand for all display activity in February “due to the strength of our plans and execution.”

Molson Coors’ brands turned in a successful first quarter elsewhere, as well. In Canada, Coors Light and Molson Canadian each posted growth.  And in the U.K., Carling remains the nation’s No. 1 beer by volume.

Above premium beer wins

Molson Coors’ efforts to premiumize its portfolio continue to pay off, Hattersley says. In the U.K., Madrí Excepcional continued to grow sales and share. The popular world lager is now bigger than Budweiser in the U.K. and recently passed Stella Artois in the on-trade to become the nation’s No. 6 beer in that channel.

Hattersley said Molson Coors’ portfolio of hard seltzers, flavored alcohol beverages, spirits-based beverages and non-alc beverages again grew in the quarter.

Those results were led by Simply Spiked Lemonade, which now ranks as a top-10 FMB brand as measured by Circana, and a top-five industry growth brand. The brand, which ended 2022 as the No. 2 new item in U.S. total beer, also launched in Canada in February and rolled out Simply Spiked Peach in the U.S. in March.

Topo Chico Hard Seltzer grew brand volume in March, and Molson Coors released its RTD cocktail line, Topo Chico Spirited, last month. Hattersley also pointed to another innovation coming from its relationship with The Coca-Cola Company: the coming launch of Peace Hard Tea in September.

Subscribe to Kane's Beverage News Daily

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.