Molson Coors doubles down on premium, innovative drinks amid beer demand decline

Company’s innovation efforts include cannabis-infused beverages

Molson Coors Brewing Co. plans to continue focusing on offering more premium and innovative drinks, including a soon-to-be launched line of cannabis-infused beverages, as it grapples with declining beer demand in North America.

“Consumers are drinking slightly less, but better,” said CEO Mark Hunter during a conference call with analysts Tuesday after the company released its fourth-quarter financial results.

The company must accelerate premiumization of its portfolio and innovation agenda, he said.

It’s doubling down on efforts to promote several brands, including Blue Moon — a craft brand that Molson plans to double its media spend on in the United States. The brand is called Belgian Moon in Canada.

Hunter also outlined some of the company’s innovation efforts, including cannabis-infused beverages.

The company expects Truss, a joint venture with Hexo Corp., to launch a portfolio of cannabis-infused beverages this autumn. The federal government has said it will legalize edibles by Oct. 17.

Molson, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, is over delivering on its cost-savings plans for 2017-19, which is partly insulating the company from weaker industry demand in North America, among other industry challenges, Hunter said.

The company also restated its financial results for 2016 and 2017 due to income tax accounting errors.

For 2016, it understated its deferred tax liability and income tax expense which resulted in an overstatement of its net income by $399.1 million.

However, the deferred tax liability required revaluation in 2017 due to U.S. tax changes and that resulted in an overstatement of its income tax expense and understatement of its net income of $151.4 million for the year.

The company reported a fourth-quarter profit of $76 million or 35 cents per diluted share for the three months ended Dec. 31 compared with a profit of $716.9 million or $3.31 per diluted share a year earlier.

Its underlying profit for the quarter amounted to $182.3 million or 84 cents per diluted share, up from $134.3 million or 62 cents per share a year earlier.

Net sales totalled $2.42 billion, down from $2.58 billion.

Molson Coors shares were down $5.99 or 6.8 per cent at $82.01 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake residents asked for input on IDP final draft

An open house was held for the Sylvan Lake IDP Nov. 20 at the Senior’s Centre

Small farms would not need work place insurance under proposed bill

Bill 26, Farm Freedom and Safety Act, was introduced by Minister Devin Dreeshen Wednesday

Chinook’s Edge and RDCRS school boards facing upwards of $2 million shortfall

Insurance increases and funding cuts have caused shortfalls for local school boards

Giving Tree back in Sylvan Lake for its ninth year

The Friends of Bethany volunteers hung the tags on the Giving Tree in Shopper’s Drug Mart, Nov. 19

Sylvan Lake students attend youth summit on conservation

Four HJ Cody students attended the Canadian Rockies Youth Summit in Jasper, Nov. 15-17

Fashion Fridays: Holiday outfits on a budget

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Edmonton youth faces 17 charges after allegedly ramming police car

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Break & Enter, Theft of Vehicle, along with traffic, property offences

Alberta MLAs reject bill for health workers who refuse service based on moral beliefs

Bill would have meant workers could not be sued for refusing to provide services like abortions

Study finds microplastics in all remote Arctic beluga whales tested

Lead author Rhiannon Moore says she wasn’t expecting to see so many microplastics so far north

RCMP find burned out vehicles near Pigeon Lake

Wetaskiwin RCMP Recovered Numerous Stolen Vehicles in Pigeon Lake Area

Millet gas station robbed, worker bear sprayed

Wetaskiwin RCMP Investigate Armed Robbery, Seek information and ID Suspect

Environmental group’s lawsuit seeks to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ inquiry

UCP launched inquiry into where Canadian environmental charities get their funding

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Most Read