MillerCoors profits dip

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SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company reported first quarter net income of $271.9 million for Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC, a decrease of 1.2 percent compared to the 2012 first quarter.

Net sales for MillerCoors increased 1.6 percent in the first quarter to $1.788 billion.

“Across the country, beer volumes were challenged in the first quarter due to a combination of tough comparatives led by last year’s unseasonably warm weather and the payroll tax increase that impacted our core beer drinkers’ disposable income,” said MillerCoors chief executive officer Tom Long. “However, our portfolio transformation strategy is working as evidenced by our growth in domestic net revenue per barrel, so there is reason for optimism as our strategy unfolds. Our new brand launches, Redd’s Apple Ale and Third Shift, gained early traction with consumers and retailers ahead of our initial projections, and Tenth and Blake continues to deliver strong results led by Blue Moon.”

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During the first quarter, MillerCoors Premium Light brands decreased mid-single digits in the quarter. Coors Light declined low-single-digits in the quarter. Miller Lite declined high-single digits for the quarter.

The Tenth and Blake Beer Company in Milwaukee grew the MillerCoors Craft and Import portfolio by high-single digits in the quarter, driven by Blue Moon Brewing Company and the continued national expansion of Batch 19. Blue Moon was up high-single digits in the quarter. Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company’s growth slowed to low-single digits for the quarter as the Summer Shandy brand was adversely affected by comparison’s to sales during the unseasonably warm weather in the prior year.

The MillerCoors Economy portfolio, including Miller High Life and Keystone Light, declined mid-single digits in the quarter.

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The Premium Regular portfolio, including Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, declined mid-single digits. The continued growth of Coors Banquet, which grew mid-single digits for the quarter, was offset by Miller Genuine Draft’s double digit decline.

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