Molson Coors' profit jumps, boosted by acquisition

Molson Coors' profit jumps as acquisition offsets weak demand

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Molson Coors topped profit expectations for the second quarter thanks in part to a big European acquisition, though declining revenue highlighted a tough market for brewers.

CEO Peter Swinburn expects weak demand for the rest of the year, and said that the company is ratcheting up marketing of core brands, which include Miller Lite and Coors Lite.

The profit beat sent shares up more than 4 percent in early trading.

The Denver brewer earned $278.4 million, or $1.51 per share, for the period ended June 29. That's compared with $105.1 million, or 57 cents per share, a year ago.

Net sales rose to $1.18 billion, up from $999.4 million.

Molson easily beat Wall Street expectations of $1.39 in per-share net income, but fell shy of projections for $1.23 billion in revenue.

MillerCoors, a joint venture with SABMillers that sells both of the companies' brands in the U.S., saw net income fall 5.3 percent to $412.7 million, with sales to retailers falling 4 perecnt..

Sales to retailers in Canada fell 4 percent, with the company citing unfavorable weather conditions; net sales per hectoliter fell 0.5 percent, driven a shift toward cheaper brands and packages.

More than half of the countries that use the euro have fallen into recession and consumers are cutting back on purchases of everything, from beer, to automobiles.

Sales volume in Europe declined 2 percent, which the company also attributed to poor weather. Net sales rose almost 5 percent as a result of higher prices.

International business volumes increased 51 percent, boosted by the inclusion of its central European business. Molson Coors last year spent more than $3.5 billion to acquire StarBev, which makes Bergenbier, Ozusko and Borsodi.

Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Co. rose $2.12 to $52.20 in early trading.

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