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Molson Coors posts lower net income, raises savings target

Molson Coors Brewing Co. reported lower actual net income for the fourth quarter of 2017, though net sales increased due to higher global pricing.

The brewer's actual net income declined year over year to $588.8 million, or $2.72 per share, in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2017. The company booked a pro forma loss of $607.7 million, or $2.83 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Excluding special and noncore items, underlying net income came in at $133.6 million, or 62 cents per share, during the quarter, compared to a pro forma net income of $101.1 million, or 47 cents per share, a year ago.

Year over year, fourth-quarter net sales rose to $2.58 billion from $2.29 billion, and were up 4.5% from pro forma net sales of $2.47 billion.

During the quarter, actual net sales in the U.S. slipped on an annual basis to $1.72 billion from $1.74 billion. Canada net sales climbed 7.1% to $352.9 million, Europe net sales rose 29% to $473.2 million and international net sales increased 19% to $71.4 million.

Full-year 2017 net income fell to $1.41 billion, or $6.53 per share, from $1.99 billion, or $9.34 per share, in the previous year. Pro forma net income in 2016 was $291.8 million, or $1.36 per share.

Net sales came in at $11.00 billion in 2017, compared to actual net sales of $4.89 billion and pro forma net sales of $10.98 billion in 2016.

"Across Molson Coors, against a backdrop of integration and challenging market conditions during 2017, we delivered financial and commercial results that demonstrate our balanced priorities for bottom- and top-line growth are working," said Molson Coors President and CEO Mark Hunter.

Molson Coors said it delivered more than $255 million of synergies and other cost savings in 2017, beating its original target by more than $80 million.

With that achievement, Molson Coors is raising its three-year savings target to $600 million, which includes $210 million and $135 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.