9 May 2012 --- SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company reported that MillerCoors first quarter underlying net income increased 16.6 percent to $275.3 million (against Q1 2011).
Total net sales increased 3.6 percent to $1.760 billion. The company attributed this to the warm weather during the period. Underlying net income in the January-March quarter was $275.3 million, with net sales up 3.6 percent at $.76 billion.
The joint company, formed in July 2008, said in February that cumulative cost savings from bringing Miller and Coors together had topped its $750 million cost savings target at the end of 2011, one year ahead of originally planned.
"We delivered a solid first quarter in 2012," said MillerCoors Chief Executive Officer Tom Long. "Our sales trends improved, and we saw net revenue growth that was primarily driven by strong mix, positive pricing and unseasonably warm weather, particularly around St. Patrick's Day. We also laid the ground work with the re-positioning of some of our top brands, such as Miller Lite and Miller64 and continued to deliver strong growth from Tenth and Blake, particularly from Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. We are encouraged by our trend improvements, and we have the right strategy, programs and people in place to continue growing our brand strength and earning customer preference."
For the quarter, MillerCoors domestic sales-to-retailers (STRs) were down 1.6 percent. The company says that this performance represents a meaningful improvement over the prior three quarters; it was aided by unseasonably warm weather in the month of March across much of the country, particularly in core markets for MillerCoors such as in the Midwest and Northeast. Domestic sales to wholesalers (STWs) decreased 0.9%, and distributor inventory levels were lower at the end of the quarter than a year ago.
Premium Light STRs were down low-single digits in the first quarter. Miller Lite declined low single digits and launched new advertising and brand positioning themed "It's Miller Time" in mid-March.