SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Company have reported that third-quarter MillerCoors underlying net income declined by 8.6% to $344.4m versus the same period last year.
The news comes as announcements are expected later this week regarding the possible sale by SABMiller of its 58% stake in MillerCoors to joint venture partner Molson Coors. The sale comes as SABMiller seeks to finalise the terms of its £70bn sale to AB InBev.
At its latest global trading update MillerCoors – whose brands include Coors, Blue Moon and Redd’s – said the slump was driven by lower volumes and increased marketing investment. Marketing, general and administrative costs increased by 5.6%, driven by higher brand investments, employee related benefits and technology investments.
However, a lower cost of sales and net pricing mix helped stave off further losses. Coors Light and Miller Lite both gained market share of the premium-lite segment for the second consecutive quarter. Total company net revenue per barrel, including contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 1.1%.
Gavin Hattersley, MillerCoors CEO said: 'As we relentlessly pursue total portfolio growth, job number one is taking share and growing our American Light Lagers. This past quarter, we took a step in this direction by taking segment share with both Coors Light and Miller Lite.
'We have a lot of work ahead of us to address our economy segment performance, but all other segments across our portfolio are in good shape as we close out the year. Net income was down this quarter due to lower volume, partially due to bringing distributor inventories down as anticipated coming out of peak-selling season, and increased media investments across our brands.'