Molson Coors doubles down on premium, innovative drinks amid beer demand decline

Company’s innovation efforts include cannabis-infused beverages

Molson Coors Brewing Co. plans to continue focusing on offering more premium and innovative drinks, including a soon-to-be launched line of cannabis-infused beverages, as it grapples with declining beer demand in North America.

“Consumers are drinking slightly less, but better,” said CEO Mark Hunter during a conference call with analysts Tuesday after the company released its fourth-quarter financial results.

The company must accelerate premiumization of its portfolio and innovation agenda, he said.

It’s doubling down on efforts to promote several brands, including Blue Moon — a craft brand that Molson plans to double its media spend on in the United States. The brand is called Belgian Moon in Canada.

Hunter also outlined some of the company’s innovation efforts, including cannabis-infused beverages.

The company expects Truss, a joint venture with Hexo Corp., to launch a portfolio of cannabis-infused beverages this autumn. The federal government has said it will legalize edibles by Oct. 17.

Molson, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, is over delivering on its cost-savings plans for 2017-19, which is partly insulating the company from weaker industry demand in North America, among other industry challenges, Hunter said.

The company also restated its financial results for 2016 and 2017 due to income tax accounting errors.

For 2016, it understated its deferred tax liability and income tax expense which resulted in an overstatement of its net income by $399.1 million.

However, the deferred tax liability required revaluation in 2017 due to U.S. tax changes and that resulted in an overstatement of its income tax expense and understatement of its net income of $151.4 million for the year.

The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $76 million or 35 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with a profit of $716.9 million or $3.31 per diluted share a year earlier.

Its underlying profit for the quarter amounted to $182.3 million or 84 cents per diluted share, up from $134.3 million or 62 cents per share a year earlier.

Net sales totalled $2.42 billion, down from $2.58 billion.

Molson Coors shares were down $5.99 or 6.8 per cent at $82.01 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rimbey 2020 real estate market remains consistent with 2019 numbers

COVID-19 so far has had little effect on real estate in community

Fun and Flowers: Rimbey and Area Love My Garden Tour this July

“Every garden is as unique as the gardener who created them.”

46 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Alberta

Province has completed more than 500,000 COVID-19 tests

Charges laid following shooting in Lacombe County

A man turned himself in to Rimbey RCMP after an incident on July 5

Serbia bans mass gatherings after virus lockdown protests

Serbia bans mass gatherings after virus lockdown protests

Mississippi seeing big virus outbreak in state legislature

Mississippi seeing big virus outbreak in state legislature

CDC head sticking to school-opening guides Trump criticized

CDC head sticking to school-opening guides Trump criticized

Bolivian president has COVID-19 as virus hits region’s elite

Bolivian president has COVID-19 as virus hits region’s elite

Confusion, frustration abound as feds weigh options for $900M student program

Confusion, frustration abound as feds weigh options for $900M student program

Parents concerned about children’s social lives, survey says

Parents concerned about children’s social lives, survey says

WE details thousands in fees for Trudeaus as volunteers await revamped program

WE details thousands in fees for Trudeaus as volunteers await revamped program

Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19, Senate committee says

Canada not ready for second wave of COVID-19, Senate committee says

Most Read