USA – Monster Energy drink producer, Monster Beverage Corp has said net sales for the 2018 third quarter increased 11.7% to US$1.02 billion from US$909.5 million in the same period last year.

According to the company, net and gross sales for the three-months ended September 30, 2018 were impacted by advance purchases made by customers due to a pre-announced price increase on Monster Energy brand energy drinks.

Net sales for the company’s Monster Energy Drinks segment increased 13.0% to US$935.1 million from US$827.7 million, negatively impacted by net changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

Strategic Brands segment, which includes the various energy drink brands acquired from the Coca Cola Company, decreased 2.8% to US$74.4 million from US$76.6 million.

Other segment, which includes certain products of American Fruits & Flavors sold to independent third parties were US$6.6 million for the 2018 third quarter, compared with US$5.2 million in the 2017 third quarter.

Monster Beverage CEO Rodney Sacks said: “We are pleased to report record third-quarter net sales of more than US$1 billion, further demonstrating the strength of our brands.

“We continue to make progress in our strategic alignment with Coca-Cola system bottlers and have now fully transitioned Monster Energy from our former Anheuser-Busch distributors to Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States.

In the third quarter of 2018, we transitioned Monster Energy in the remainder of Arkansas.

“We have expanded the distribution of Monster Energy to 40 of the largest cities in India.

Our products are now distributed in 75% of the country, and we anticipate national distribution by 2018-year end.

“Monster Energy was launched in Ecuador and Ukraine in the third quarter and we are planning further international launches later this year and in 2019.

Mutant energy, one of our affordable energy brands, was launched in Myanmar and Vietnam in the third quarter.

“We recently launched Predator, our strategically preferred affordable energy brand, in South Africa and are planning launches of Predator in selected additional markets in Eastern Europe and Africa.”

Operating income increased to US$339.6 million from US$317.4 million while general and administrative expenses for the 2018 third quarter were US$112.7 million, or 11.1% of net sales.

The company said gross profit, as a percentage of net sales was 59.8%, compared with 62.6% in the 2017.