Beer sales down, Molson profit up

Molson Coors Brewing Co. says its second-quarter profit more thandoubled even though penny-pinching consumers and a soggy Canadiansummer contributed to reduced sales.

Molson Coors Brewing Co. says its second-quarter profit more than doubled even though penny-pinching consumers and a soggy Canadian summer contributed to reduced sales.

Reporting in U.S. dollars, the Montreal and Denver-based beer maker says it earned $187.3 million or $1.01 per share in the three months that ended in June, as higher overall prices and reduced costs offset lower sales volumes.

That compares with earnings of 42 cents a share in the same period last year or $79.4 million, before Molson Coors and SABMiller PLC formed their joint venture MillerCoors.

“What I’ve seen since coming back to Canada is that boy the weather sure seems to have deteriorated over the years,” Dave Perkins, the new chief executive of Molson Canada, said in a conference call.

“It is a cold summer and I think that’s the biggest factor that we’re seeing in July (early in the third quarter). It’s anybody’s bet obviously how that plays out through the rest of the summer.”

The underlying pretax income in Molson’s Canadian business decreased 11 per cent to $137.3 million as the lower Canadian dollar reduced profits by $18 million. In local currency, income grew two per cent”.

However, Molson Coors’ sales to retail decreased 0.5 per cent as Canadian beer industry volumes grew about 1.8 per cent, decreasing its total market share by 0.9 per cent.

Canada’s sales volume was 2.4 million hectolitres, down 2.9 per cent from 2008, while net sales decreased 11.6 per cent to $471 million.

Total net sales excluding the U.S. totalled $798.9 million.