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.
- 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.
- 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.