Molson Coors Says Beer Sales Sank in 1Q

Beer maker Molson Coors said Thursday that beer sales and revenue fell in the first quarter, saying sales are under pressure in its bigger markets and foreign currency exchange rates are affecting sales outside the U.S.

DENVER (AP) — Beer maker Molson Coors said Thursday that beer sales and revenue fell in the first quarter, saying sales are under pressure in its bigger markets and foreign currency exchange rates are affecting sales outside the U.S.

The Denver company said beer sales volume was down 4.8 percent compared to a year ago. Its profit fell by half, as a year ago the company received a $52.5 million payment from Mexican brewer Modelo after it ended a joint venture with Molson Coors. The company said its net income fell to $81.1 million, or 43 cents per share. Excluding one-time costs and gains, the company said it earned 46 cents per share. Its revenue after excise taxes decreased 14 percent to $700 million.

Analysts expected net income of 43 cents per share, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

MillerCoors, the U.S. joint venture between Molson Coors and SABMiller PLC, said its net income rose 5 percent to $304.6 million. Revenue fell 1 percent to $1.77 billion, and domestic sales to wholesalers sank 2.3 percent.

MillerCoors also said Chief Financial Officer Gavin Hattersley will become its interim CEO on June 30, when current CEO Tom Long retires. Hattersley, 52, we will be interim CEO for up to six months while the company looks for a permanent replacement. He will remain CFO during that time.

The company said in February that Long would retire.

Shares of Molson Coors Brewing Co. rose 79 cents to $74.31 in morning trading. The stock is down about 1 percent in 2015, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 1 percent.

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