Molson Coors’ first quarter sales we’re down almost 10% but the Chicago-headquartered beverage company was hit by a trifecta of unfortunate trials.
Here’s the deal…
On April 29 Molson Coors Beverage Company reported its Q1 sales results which dropped 9.7% compared to the same period in 2020.
“The first quarter was not the quarter that we expected to have,” said Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley, in a call with analysts.
Hattersley pointed to a trio of events as impacting the first quarter result profoundly….
In February, a major winter storm brought Texas to its knees, forcing utility companies to shut off power to the Fort Worth brewery for 11 days.
In March, Molson Coors, which is home iconic beer brands, including, Miller, Miller Lite, Coors, Coors Light, Blue Moon, Grolsch, Foster’s, Killian’s, Peroni and others, suffered a “system outage” originating from a “cybersecurity incident,” suspected to be ransomware, that led to disruptions to its brewery operations, productions, and deliveries.
And both of these unforseen events were on top of the unprecedented shut down of restaurants bars and pubs in the UK, Canada and much of the US due to COVID-19.
But while citing these detriments Hattersley noted some positives….
“To say that all of these events happening in a single quarter is unprecedented would be an understatement. But while we can’t control the weather, across the business we executed well on what was in our control. “We are making progress on the things that are within our control, and we are delivering against our revitalization plan.”
In April, Molson Coors’ weekly beer US shipments topped 1 million barrels for the first time in nearly a year. Retail sales in the states were up mid-single digits over the most-recent four-week period, as the company works to get its core brands back to stable inventory levels.
Hattersley stressed that the company has made progress with key initiatives, including building on the strength of its core brands.
Coors Light finished the first quarter with its strongest category share performance in the US since the first quarter of 2017. And together with Miller Lite, the two brands outperformed the combination of Bud Light and Michelob Ultra in the US versus the same period a year ago, according to IRI data.
Add to that, the breakout performance of Coors Banquet, which was prominently featured in the popular Netflix series Cobra Kai, and posted its best quarterly sales in more than four years.