Earnings Roundup: A-B, MillerCoors and CBA Report Depletion Declines


In the midst of last week’s Craft Brewers Conference, and on the heels of disappointing first quarter earnings from the country’s largest publicly traded craft outfit, Boston Beer, a trio of beer companies last week released their Q1 financial results.

All three companies — Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors and Craft Brew Alliance — each posted first quarter depletion declines. Overall shipments for both A-B InBev and CBA declined — 1.2 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively — while MillerCoors shipments increased slightly, up 1.3 percent.

The key highlights, and links to complete earnings announcements for all three companies, are below.

Anheuser-Busch InBev

  • While the company estimates that industry-wide sales to retailers increased 0.7 percent during the first quarter, its own STRs declined 0.3 percent.
  • Total volumes declined 1.2 percent to 24.9 million barrels (from 25.5 million), which the company attributed to planned adjustments to wholesaler inventories.
  • Above Premium brands performed “very well” in the first quarter, the company said, gaining approximately 50 basis point of total market share in the quarter.
  • Michelob Ultra volumes increased 20 percent.
  • Four Peaks Brewing and Breckenridge Brewery acquisitions closed.
  • Beer-only revenue per hectoliter grew by 1.3 percent in the quarter
  • U.S. EBITDA increase by 2.1 percent, to $1.29 billion.


  • Net income grew 22.2 percent, to $372.1 million versus year ago.
  • Sales to retailers declined 1.3 percent.
  • Sales to wholesalers increased 1.3 percent, to 13.8 million barrels (from 13.7 million).
  • Net sales increased 2.3 percent, to $1.8 billion, while net revenue per barrel grew 1.5 percent.
  • Coors Light and Miller Lite each gained share of the premium light segment, despite flat STR trends.
  • The company’s Tenth & Blake craft and import portfolio was down “low-single digits,” according to a release.

Craft Brew Alliance

  • The company’s first quarter shipments declined 18,100 barrels, it said, due to the temporary closure of its primary Portland, Ore. brewing facility.
  • Those shipment declines resulted in a net sales decline of 6 percent, the company said. First quarter gross margin rates also took a hit, dipping to 22.2 percent compared to 26.8 percent for the first quarter last year.
  • Overall depletions — across the Redhook, Widmer Brothers, Kona, Omission and Square Mile brands — declined 3 percent. Depletions for the Kona brand, however, increased 19 percent during the quarter.
  • CBA is predicting April through December 2016 shipment growth of between 4 percent and 5 percent, and it still expects full-year shipment growth of as much as 2 percent.
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