Molson Coors bumps up annual forecast on strong demand for premium beers

Reuters | August 1, 2023

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(Reuters) – Molson Coors Beverage on Tuesday raised its annual sales and profit forecasts, boosted by strong demand for its core brands Miller Lite and Coors Light.

The brewer joins rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brown-Forman and Constellation Brands that have recently posted upbeat results, supported by higher pricing and steady demand for alcoholic beverages.

For the Americas segment, Molson Coors’ net sales rose 10.7% in the second quarter as it shipped more premium beers.

“The increase in U.S. volume was impacted by a shift in consumer purchasing behavior largely within the premium segment,” the company said.

A conservative backlash in the U.S. against AB InBev’s Bud Light over a social media promotion with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney has weighed on the brand’s sales, causing the beer to lose its top spot in the domestic market since May.

“We believe the market share shift away from Bud Light and towards Miller Lite and Coors Light will be sticky and likely very profitable,” Roth analyst Bill Kirk said.

Molson Coors now expects full-year 2023 sales to grow in high single-digit percentage, on a constant currency basis. The company had previously forecast a low single-digit percentage rise.

Annual underlying income before income taxes is expected to increase between 23% and 26%, on a constant-currency basis, compared with a low single-digit percentage increase forecast earlier.

However, Molson Coors posted second-quarter sales of $3.27 billion, missing estimates of $3.29 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The Chicago-based company’s shares were down 3.1% at $67.60 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Milla Nissi and Shounak Dasgupta)