Molson Coors Brews Stronger 4Q on Pricing, Volume Improvements

By Jennifer Booton Industrials FOXBusiness

Molson Coors Brewing (TAP) revealed a 58% increase in fourth-quarter profit on Thursday and widely beat average estimates, as higher beer volumes and improved pricing helped lift sales.

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The Denver-based maker of Coors Light, Molson, Carling and Keystone Light brewed up a $173.6 million profit, or 95 cents, compared with a year-earlier $109.8 million, or 59 cents.

Analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll were expecting a smaller profit of 71 cents.  

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $937.3 million, up 12.2% from $835.1 million a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $924.52 million. Sales were up across all of its regional segments.

Shares of Molson Coors climbed more than 4% to $45.93 early Thursday.

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“The fourth quarter benefited from solid pricing, an additional week in our fiscal 2011 calendar, and cycling comparatively weak quarterly results the year before,” Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn said in a statement. “Despite some challenging market conditions, our focus continues to be on growing our business.”

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During the period, the brewer delivered $20 million in cost reductions as part of its Resources for Growth Two initiative, bringing total savings in 2011 to $60 million. MillerCoors achieved cost savings of $27 million.  

In 2012, it plans to focus on growing profitability in core businesses, expanding in new and emerging markets and meeting stricter shareholder return criteria while increasing M&A activity.

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