Molson Coors revenue up as marketing spend rises

Molson Coors, owner of the Carling, Coors Light and Worthington’s brands, says UK revenue increased 8.7% in the first quarter.

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Carling advert

North American parent company Molson Coors Brewing Company reports UK revenue hit $420.1m (£277.2m) in the thirteen weeks to 27 March, up from $386.3m (£254.9m) a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit fell to $1.5m (£0.99m) from $2.6m (£1.71m) in the UK, the company says, hit by an increase in pension costs.

The drinks maker says marketing investment, grouped together with “general and administrative” expenses, increased by 19% to $80.1m (£52.8m) in the first quarter.

Molson Coors’ UK division vowed in January to invest an additional £8.1m in marketing in 2010, a 16% uplift on 2009, in a bid to “stimulate the beer category”.

It has continued to push the Grolsch and Carling brands this year and has also looked boost on-trade sales via the Pint Right Programme. The programme includes bar staff training and initiatives designed to get more people choosing beer with their pub meals.

Peter Swinburn, president and chief executive officer at Molson Coors, says the “strength” of its brands in the UK has boosted margins, adding that it expects this “to drive more stable U.K. market share as the year progresses”.

Globally, revenue increased to $947m ((£625m) in the first quarter, up from $824 (£544m) a year earlier, while marketing, general and administrative expenses rose to $237.5m (£157m).

Molson Coors appointed former Muller UK marketer Chris McDonough to the role of UK marketing director in February.

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