RNS Number : 4691H
SABMiller PLC
05 November 2008
 






SABMILLER PLC AND MOLSON COORS REPORT MILLERCOORS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS 

New U.S. Joint Venture Increases Sales-to-Retailers, Pricing, Revenue and Underlying Income 

in First Quarter of Combined Operations


November 5, 2008 (London and Denver) -- SABMiller plc (SAB.L) and Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX) today reported strong performance by their new U.S. joint venture in its first quarter of combined operations. MillerCoors drove higher sales-to-retailers, pricing, revenue, as well as strong double-digit underlying income for the fiscal third quarter ended September 30, 2008.


"As expected, MillerCoors is already driving profitable growth based on our early efforts to build a stronger and more competitive U.S. brewer with the peoplepartners, brands and scale to win," said MillerCoors Chief Executive Officer Leo Kiely.  "Our people are making it happen and these impressive financial results demonstrate our passion to deliver on our vision to becomAmerica's best beer company."


 "Despite the challenging U.S. economy and ongoing changes to the competitive dynamics in the U.S. beer industry, our first quarter of combined performance demonstrates the tremendous potential of our new company," Kiely added.


BRAND HIGHLIGHTS

Key operating results for the third quarter are compared to prior year on a pro forma basis (1) and include the U.S. and Puerto Rico operations of the combined company. 


 (1) MillerCoors pro forma figures are based on results for Miller and Coors reported under either International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the fiscal quarter ended September 2007, or U.S. GAAP for the fiscal quarter ended September 2007. Adjustments have been made to reflect comparative data including amortization of definite-life intangible assets and the exclusion of significant one-time items.


During the period, MillerCoors STRs rose by 0.7 percent after adjusting for the extra trading day in the period (+2.3% unadjusted), due to continued momentum from seven of its 12 largest brands.  MillerCoors shipments-to-wholesalers (STWs) declined by 0.5 percent, due to reductions in distributor inventory levels in the third quarter. 


STRs for the company's flagship premium light brandwere up 1.4 percent (+3.0% unadjusted) versus the prior year. Coors Light STRs increased an impressive 6.8 percent (+8.5% unadjusted), due to gains in both distribution and velocity, while Miller Lite STRs decreased 3.6 percent (-2.1% unadjusted), due to volume declines in the Midwest and Pacific regions as the brand cycled a difficult volume comparison in the prior year.


The craft and import portfolio rose 5.0 percent (+6.6% unadjusted), led by the strong performance of Blue Moon, Leinenkugel's and Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The domestic above-premium portfolio, which includes Miller ChillSparks and Killian's Irish Redexperienced a double-digit decline as Miller Chill cycled tough comparatives from the previous year, while facing a new competitive entry to the category.  


Other premium brands grew 0.2 percent (+1.8% unadjusted) as Coors Banquet delivered double-digit growth offsetting Miller Genuine Draft declines.  Below premium brands grew 2.3 percent (+3.9% unadjusted) as Keystone Light posted double-digit gains and Miller High Life continued to generate solid growth.  


MGD 64 showed strength ahead of expectations as consumers and retailers responded favorably to the national launch of this innovative premium light beer.  During its roll-out in the third quarter, MGD 64 gained traction across the country as STRs rose 77 percent versus MGD Light volume a year earlier. 


THIRD QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS 

(All amounts are in U.S. Dollars and calculated in accordance with U.S. GAAP, unless otherwise indicated.)


MillerCoors total net sales increased by 2.1 percent to $1.950 billion versus the prior period pro forma results. Excluding contract brewing, net sales were up 2.3 percent to $1.818 billion.  Third-party contract brewing volumes decreased 3.3 percent.



Pricing remained strong as total company net sales per barrel increased 3.0 percent.  Excluding contract brewing, net sales per barrel grew at 2.9 percent versus the prior year pro forma results, driven by strong pricing. MillerCoors revenue growth outlook for the balance of the year is expected to remain strong, as the company implemented selective price increases on the majority of its beer volume in September and October this year.  Net sales mix was virtually unchanged, due to strong growth by the company's premium light, craft and import brands, largely offset by cycling significant Miller Chill launch ramp-up volumes in the prior year.


COGS per barrel increased by 5.6 percentas reductions related to legacy savings initiatives by Miller Brewing Company (Project Unicorn) and Coors Brewing Company (Resources for Growth) were more than offset by increased commodity and fuel costs.  


Marketing, general and administrative expense decreased 9.1 percent reflecting favorability due to the non-recurrence of prior year Miller Chill launch costs, which were partially offset by MGD 64 launch costsas well as a reduction in share based compensation expenses.


Underlying net income, excluding special items, for the quarter increased to US $191 million, up 28.2 percent from the prior year pro forma result, driven primarily by strong pricing and reductions in marketing and overhead expenses, which more than offset increases in COGS and the reduction in shipment volume.  Depreciation and amortization expense for MillerCoors in the third quarter was approximately $70 million, and additions to properties and intangible assets totaled $67 million.


COST SYNERGIES

MillerCoors is aggressively working to deliver against its stated goal of achieving $500 million of cost synergies in the first three years of combined operations commencing July 1, 2008.  The company plans to deliver its initial commitment of $50 million of cost synergies in the first year of combined operations ending June 30, 2009. These savings will be divided approximately evenly between the second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009.  In addition, MillerCoors is on track to deliver $350 million of savings in year two with approximately $175 million delivered in the second half of 2009. The remaining $100 million of savings will be delivered in year three ending June 30, 2011. 


In the third quarter, MillerCoors began its brewery network optimization project to shift volume and brew both Miller and Coors products throughout its expanded network of eight major breweries. The projects will be phased in at the breweries over the next 18 months.  The moves will reduce shipping distances which will drive products to market quicker, generating significant savings. The company continues to integrate its information systems to enable robust data sharing and analysis within the commercial enterprise, further minimize duplicate systems and reduce costs.  The MillerCoors employee selection process is nearing completion, and the full sales organization selection process will be completed in early November. 



During the third quarter 2008, MillerCoors reported special or exceptional items of $22.6 million related to one-time integration costs. Incurring these costs will enable MillerCoors to capture organizational synergies, as part of its stated $500 million three-year synergy savings plan.  The third quarter 2007 pro forma results include special items of $2.8 million relating to a one-time charge for supply chain restructuring in the Legacy Coors organization.


Overview of MillerCoors 

MillerCoors produces, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico

Built on a foundation of great beer brands and more than 288 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers.  MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment.  Miller Lite is the great-tasting beer that established the American light beer category in 1975, and Coors Light is the brand that introduced consumers to Rocky Mountain cold refreshment.  MillerCoors brews full-calorie beers Coors Original Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft; and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light.  The company also imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Molson Canadian and offers innovative products such as Miller Chill and the Sparks line of caffeinated alcohol beverages.  MillerCoors features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company.  MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa FallsWI, and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to become the best beer company in America by driving profitable industry growth.  MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact.  MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.


Overview of SABMiller

SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements across six continents. The group's brands include premium international beers such as Miller Genuine Draft, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell, as well as an exceptional range of market leading local brands.  Outside the USA, SABMiller plc is also one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products in the world. In the year ended March 31, 2008, the group reported $3,560 million operating profit before exceptional items and revenue of $21,410 million.  SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. For more information on SABMiller plc, visit the company's website: www.sabmiller.com.






Overview of Molson Coors 

Molson Coors Brewing Company is one of the world's largest brewers. It brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium quality brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Molson Dry, Carling, Coors, and Keystone Light in North America, Europe and Asia For more information on Molson Coors Brewing Company, visit the company's web site, http://www.molsoncoors.com.



MILLERCOORS LLC

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

(VOLUMES IN THOUSANDS, DOLLARS IN MILLIONS)

(UNAUDITED)








Three Months Ended



 September 30, 2008


 September 30, 2007



Actual


Pro forma

Adjusted(2)






Volume in barrels

   18,646 


   18,808 






Sales 

 $  2,293.4 


 $  2,249.9 

Excise taxes

      (343.7)


   (341.2)


Net sales

   1,949.7 


   1,908.7 

Cost of goods sold

   (1,236.9)


   (1,181.8)


Gross profit

   712.8 


   726.9 

Marketing, general and administrative expenses

   (519.1)


   (571.0)

Special items, net

   (22.6)


   (2.8)


Operating income

   171.1 


   153.1 

Other income (expense), net

   2.3 


   (1.5)


Income from continuing operations before income taxes and minority interests

   173.4 


   151.6 

Income tax expense

   (1.9)


   -  


Income from continuing operations before minority interests

   171.5 


   151.6 

Minority interests

   (3.3)


      (5.6)


Net Income

 $  168.2 


 $ 146.0 







(2) The pro forma adjusted profit and loss excludes the benefit of a $16.8m settlement received from the Ball Corporation which related to the periods prior to the quarter ended September 30, 2007 and which were previously reported as miscellaneous income.  MillerCoors Results and Related Reconciliations


The tables below reconcile MillerCoors net income reported in accordance with US GAAP as used for inclusion within Molson Coors reported results to MillerCoors EBITA as used for inclusion within SABMiller's reported results.  Underlying net income and EBITA are non-GAAP measures. Management of both companies believes that underlying net income and EBITA provide shareholders with a useful basis for assessing the profit performance of MillerCoors. There are limitations to using non-GAAP financial measures, including the difficulty associated with comparing companies that use similarly named non-GAAP measures whose calculations may differ from the company's calculations. Prior year results are presented on a pro forma basis. Adjustments have been made to reflect comparative data including amortization of definite life intangible assets and the exclusion of significant one-time items.

 

MillerCoors Reconciliation of US GAAP Net Income to Underlying Net Income (non-GAAP measure)

  And to EBITA, calculated under IFRS



MillerCoors

(In Millions of $US)

Third Quarter Ended


September 30, 2008

September 30, 2007

Actual

Pro forma-adjusted

U.S. GAAP: Net Income

168

146

Plus: Special Items¹

23

3

Non-GAAP: Underlying Net Income

191

149

Plus: Adjustments² 

22

36

MillerCoors underlying earnings before interest, taxes and amortization and before exceptional items (EBITA³)

213

185

Percent change vs. prior year MillerCoors pro-forma underlying EBITA³ 

15.1%


Notes:

¹Special items include one-time integration charges related to the MillerCoors Joint Venture.

²US - GAAP Underlying Net Income to EBITA adjustments relate to differing treatment of step-up depreciation, pension and post-retirement benefits, consolidation of container joint ventures, share based compensation, and severance expenses between US - GAAP and IFRS. Amortizations of intangible assets, interest, taxes and minority interests have been added back to arrive at underlying EBITA.  

³EBITA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, and Amortization, and before exceptional items.


This announcement is for information only and does not constitute an offer or an invitation to acquire or dispose of any securities or investment advice or an inducement to enter into investment activity.  This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or issue or the solicitation of an offer to buy or acquire the securities of SABMiller or Molson Coors (the "Companies") in any jurisdiction.


The distribution of this announcement may be restricted by law.  Persons into whose possession this announcement comes are required by the Companies to inform themselves about and to observe any such restrictions.








Forward-Looking Statements 

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws, and language indicating trends, such as "anticipated" and "expected".  It also includes financial information, of which, as of the date of this press release, the Companies' independent auditors have not completed their review.  Although the Companies believe that the assumptions upon which their respective financial information and their respective forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, they can give no assurance that these assumptions will prove to be correct.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Companies' projections and expectations are disclosed in Molson Coors' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or in SABMiller's annual report and accounts for the year ended March 31, 2008, and in other documents which are available on SABMiller's website at www.sabmiller.com.  These factors include, among others, changes in consumer preferences and product trends; price discounting by major competitors; failure to realize anticipated results from synergy initiatives; and increases in costs generally.  All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by such cautionary statements and by reference to the underlying assumptions.  Neither SABMiller nor Molson Coors undertakes to update forward-looking statements relating to their respective businesses, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  Neither SABMiller nor Molson Coors accepts any responsibility for any financial information contained in this press release relating to the business or operations or results or financial condition of the other or their respective groups.


Contacts

For further information, please contact: 


SABMiller 
 
Tel: +44 20 7659 0100/ 414 931 2000
Nigel Fairbrass
Media Relations, SABMiller
Mob: +44 7799 894265
Gary Leibowitz
Investor Relations, SABMiller
Mob: +44 7717 428540
 
 
 
Molson Coors 
 
 
Paul de la Plante
Media Relations, Molson Coors  
514/590-6349
Dave Dunnewald
Investor Relations, Molson Coors  
303/279-6565
Leah Ramsey
Investor Relations, Molson Coors
303/279-6565


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