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DENVER -- MillerCoors LLC finished the fourth quarter and full year 2010 with underlying net income increasing at double-digit rates, according to SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co. The strong growth came despite 2010 being one of the most challenging years for the U.S. beer industry.
Excluding special items, MillerCoors' fourth quarter underlying net income rose 38 percent to $146 million compared to the fourth quarter in 2009. In addition, full-year underlying net income rose 21.9 percent to $1.087 billion. SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing cite positive pricing, favorable brand mix and continued strong cost management as key factors in the numbers. MillerCoors' Premium Light portfolio experienced continued trend improvements despite soft industry volume numbers in the quarter, a joint company release stated.
"We continue to invest in innovation behind our premium light brands, drive growth in our craft and import portfolio, and deliver synergy and cost savings as promised," explained Leo Kiely, chief executive officer, MillerCoors. "Our consistent focus generated positive net revenue per barrel growth for the fourth quarter. We are building brand equity and improving our mix to meet the challenges ahead in 2011."
FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
--Fourth quarter underlying net income, excluding special items, increased 38.0 percent to $146 million, while full-year underlying net income, excluding special items, grew 21.9 percent to $1.087 billion;
--Fourth quarter total net sales increased 0.4 percent to $1.720 billion, while full-year total net sales were unchanged;
--Revenue per barrel growth was positive in the fourth quarter, as domestic net revenue per barrel (NRPB), excluding contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 1.7 percent, driven by pricing growth and favorable mix. For the full year, domestic NRPB increased 2.3 percent;
--Fourth quarter total cost of goods sold (COGS) per barrel increased 1.8 percent, while domestic COGS per barrel were flat. Full-year total COGS per barrel increased 2.1 percent;
--MillerCoors surpassed its three-year synergies goal six months ahead of schedule delivering $60 million of synergy savings in the fourth quarter, for a total of $505 million in cumulative synergy savings realized since July 1, 2008. Additional cost savings of $31 million were achieved in the fourth quarter, bringing total synergy and cost savings to $655 million since July 1, 2008.