Friday, May 8, 2009

Molson Coors Q1 profit jumps 84% to $79.6M US

Molson Coors Brewing Co. reported an 84 per cent rise in first-quarter profit to $79.6 million US Tuesday, despite a 2.7 per cent decline in its worldwide beer volume.

Earnings amounted to 43 cents per share, compared with $43.3 million or 24 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

The results do not include a $3.9 million loss at the company's troubled Kaiser brewery in Brazil, which is classified as discontinued.

CEO Peter Swinburn credited strong brands, cost reductions and lower incentive compensation for the improved earnings.

"We also achieved positive pricing and local-currency profit growth in each of our major markets," Swinburn said in a release. "These positive factors more than offset continuing commodity inflation, unfavourable currency movements, a higher tax rate, and lower volume, particularly in the U.K."

Swinburn expressed caution going into the peak summer season, "due to uncertainty around currency exchange rates and beer market volume trends, plus continuing commodity price inflation."

Molson Coors said revenue fell 55 per cent to $824.2 million, hit by unfavourable foreign exchange rates.

The company's Canadian business had adjusted earnings of $58.1 million, down 9.4 per cent in U.S.-dollar terms because of the weakening loonie.

Sales were down 15.6 per cent to $421.8 million on flat volume and a 20 per cent sag in the Canadian dollar.

In the United States, Molson Coors said its adjusted earnings rose 52 per cent to $94.2 million on strong growth in its MillerCoors joint venture with SABMiller PLC.

MillerCoors sales increased 3.8 per cent to $1.72 billion, and "pricing remained strong," the company said.

With files from The Canadian Press