SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company, the parent companies of MillerCoors, reported quarterly underlying profit growth of 11.7 percent and a 4.1 percent increase in domestic net revenue per barrel vs. the same quarter in the prior year.
The company’s total net revenue increased 2.9 percent to $2.051 billion for the quarter.
Coors Light continued to gain share within the premium light segment according to Nielsen, and leveraged its “Rocky Mountain Cold Refreshment” positioning. Volume declined low-single digits in the quarter. Miller Lite declined mid-single digits in the quarter.
The “Don’t Mess with Miller Time” Hispanic advertising campaign, featuring actor Danny Trejo, began in early October and is airing on Spanish-language television and digital outlets. The brand will be bringing back the original Miller Lite can design from Jan. 1 to March 15, 2014.
Company subsidiary Tenth and Blake Beer Company grew the MillerCoors Craft and Import portfolio by high-single digits. Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy expanded nationally and increased double digits. In 2013, Summer Shandy is the single largest driver of craft volume growth, accounting for nearly 10 percent of total craft industry growth, according to Nielsen.
In addition, Leinenkugel’s Orange Shandy has made a promising start and is outperforming initial expectations. Blue Moon Belgian White grew mid-single digits in the quarter, continuing its run of 72 consecutive quarters of growth. Batch 19 volumes grew 275 percent as it continued to expand nationally.
MillerCoors’ new brands delivered exceptional volume and value growth in above premium. Redd’s Apple Ale has quickly become one of the fastest growing beer brands in the United States. Redd’s Strawberry Ale was introduced in the third quarter and has had a strong start, gaining incremental shelf space for the Redd’s franchise. Third Shift Amber Lager continues to perform well and is now a top 15 craft brand by dollar sales according to Nielsen.
Coors Banquet grew double digits fueled by the new 12-ounce “stubby” heritage bottle modeled after the brand’s post-Prohibition era packaging. It’s making a comeback in the American lager category and is on track to achieve its seventh consecutive year of growth.
“Led by Redd’s, Leinenkugel’s and Blue Moon, our strategy to grow share in the high-margin and fast-growing above premium space is driving excellent sales mix,” said MillerCoors chief executive officer Tom Long. “The quality of our beers continues to be second to none and we are pleased consumers and customers are responding. And even though we continue to increase total company net revenue and total company net income, we are not satisfied with the on-premise distribution or volume performance of our premium light brands. Our recently announced restructuring will reduce our fixed cost base and allow increased brand investment moving forward, particularly on our premium lights.”