MillerCoors, the US joint venture between international brewers SAB Miller and Molson Coors, has reported a 2.7% rise in full-year net income despite a slight dip in sales. Across the year, underlying net income increased to $1.117bn, although net sales fell 0.3% to $7.55bn. Underlying net income in Q4 increased significantly, up 32.5% to $194m, with total sales up 2% in the quarter ($1.754bn). Domestic net revenue per barrel, excluding contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 2.9% for the quarter and 2.4% for the year. “By raising the bar on execution, increasing net revenue per barrel and over-delivering on our synergy and cost savings goal, we grew underlying profit in a tough year,” said MillerCoors chief executive Tom Long. “In 2011, we grew Coors Light to become the nation’s second biggest beer brand, surpassing Budweiser for the first time ever. We also saw strong growth in our craft and import brands like Blue Moon, Leinenkugel’s and Peroni Nastro Azzurro and we improved our brand mix. “Our investment with retail chains is paying off as our distributors execute against new category management approaches with focus and discipline.”

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