Molson Coors bounces back to profitability despite COVID-19 hurting sales

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US – American multinational drink and brewing company, Molson Coors has registered a rise in net income in its third-quarter results, despite falling net sales in both the US and its international markets.

Molson Coors net income for the quarter increased to US$342.8 million, substantially higher than the US$402.8 million loss registered last year which forced the company to rebrand and execute a revitalization plan in order to return to growth

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The revitalization plan saw the company streamline its organisation, rebrand as Molson Coors Beverage Company and explore new product categories such as hard seltzer to grow ‘beyond the beer aisle’.

Commenting on the revitalization plan, Molson Coors president and CEO Gavin Hattersley, said: “We had bold plans for our business at the beginning of 2020: to build on the strength of our iconic core brands, aggressively grow our above premium portfolio, expand beyond the beer aisle, invest in our capabilities and support our people and our communities.”

“Now we are showing what’s possible when we execute that plan and it’s our strategy that will allow us to reach further as we drive toward top-line growth,” Hattersley added.

Despite its revitalization efforts, the company’s third quarter results were significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Net sales declined 3.1% year-on-year to US$2.75 billion, compared to US$2.84 billion in 2019.

Molson Coors mainly attributed this fall to bar and restaurant closures and restrictions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

US sales fell 1% due to the dual difficulties of Covid-19 and aluminium supply constraints for beverage cans.

In Europe, the company’s sales plunged 12.2% on account of on-trade closures resulting from Covid-19 restrictions in several European countries.

Even with the decline in sales, the company claims that its revitalisation plan– was progressing “even in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic”.

Molson Coors has made a number of moves into the hard seltzer category recently, such as its exclusive agreement with Coca-Cola which will see Molson Coors manufacture, market and distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer in the US.

The company highlighted that its Vizzy hard seltzer brand had risen to eighth-place in the Nielsen top-10 growth brands chart in 2020, and claimed that it expected to take a double-digit share of the US hard seltzer market by the end of 2022.

The firm added that it is expanding its hard seltzer production capacity by over 400% by the end of 2020 to support this growth.

“The challenges throughout the year presented a lot of new obstacles, for us and every other business around the world. But we met each challenge head-on and we never lost sight of our goals or the path we set out on early in the year,” CEO Gavin Hattersley confidently said.

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