Molson Coors’ beer sales fell close to 9% in the first three months of the year as global coronavirus lockdowns took their tole.
Molson Coors was poised for a strong start to 2020, having restructured and rebranded as Molson Coors Beverage Co in 2019, streamlined its workforce, and readied a series of new products to launch the next year.
But then, coronavirus started to spread around the world. To contain it, millions of bars and restaurants have been ordered to close worldwide.
“The first quarter of 2020 was unlike any other in our company’s long history,” said chief executive Gavin Hattersley, who said that “mounting confidence and enthusiasm for our plans and for our brands” at the start of the year was thwarted by a pandemic that has now “changed the world”.
The company made US$2.1 billion, a fall of 8.7%. Not only that, but the brewer has also had to spend $50 million on additional costs to resolve the issue of excess kegs of beer that won’t be able to pass on to the consumer.
The company said on-trade beer sales made up just under a quarter (23%) of its sales last year. The figure is higher in Europe, at 55%.
The company said it expects Q2 will be even more challenging.
“We currently expect a significant adverse impact, particularly in the second quarter of 2020, to both net sales and profit performance for the fiscal year 2020, and, possibly, beyond, due to the resulting closure of the on-premise channel in effectively all of our markets,” Hattersley said.
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