Molson Coors Beverage Co. (TAP, Financial) made significant progress in 2021 on its revitalization plan, from growing its top line to “premiumizing” its global portfolio and making significant investments in growing its production capabilities. Management said it accomplished this against a challenging inflationary environment and continued impact from the pandemic, including returning consumer wariness with the Omicron variant in the fourth quarter.
Key highlights included revenue growth of Coors Light and Miller Lite and the company’s successful ventures beyond beer, which are a component of its emerging growth division that continues to track ahead of their target to achieve $1 billion in annual revenue from the division by 2023. Molson Coors also succeeded in emerging markets like Latin America, and saw strong performances in more traditional markets like Canada. Executives also continued to make investments to increase global hard seltzer production capacity with expansions in Canada and the U.K. as the company supports its rapidly-growing global hard seltzer portfolio.
The stock finished trading on Thursday at $49.42, down 2.74%, as investors weren't terribly impressed with the overall results.
Gavin Hattersley, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement:
“This year, we grew the top-line for the first time in a decade, our two biggest brands each grew net sales and we now have a larger global above premium portfolio than ever before. These were all goals of the revitalization plan, against which we continue to make tremendous progress. While we’re proud of the steps we’ve taken, we’re even more excited about where we can go from here, having established a strong foundation for 2022 successes and beyond.”
For the fourth quarter, Montreal, Canada-based company reported that net sales increased 14.2%, or 13.7% in constant currency, primarily due to financial volume growth in both the Americas as well as the EMEA and APAC segments, positive net pricing and favorable sales mix, the company said.
Net sales per hectoliter increased 3.8% on a brand volume basis in constant currency, primarily due to positive net pricing and favorable brand and channel mix resulting from portfolio premiumization and fewer on-premise channel restrictions than the prior year.
U.S. GAAP net income attributable to Molson Coors was $80.0 million, or 37 cents per share on a diluted basis. Non-GAAP diluted EPS of 81 cents per share increased 102.5%. Non-GAAP Ebitda of $457.3 million increased 21.9% in constant currency.
For the full year 2021, the beverage concern reported that net sales increased 6.5% reported and 4.7% in constant currency, primarily due to positive net pricing, favorable sales mix, primarily due to portfolio premiumization and the reopening of the on-premise channel, and increased financial volumes in the EMEA&APAC segment, partially offset by lower financial volumes in the Americas segment.
Tracey Joubert, Chief Financial Officer, added, “Our progress in 2021 is clear. For the year, we achieved our top-line guidance of mid-single-digit growth, delivered strong free cash flow, further reduced our leverage ratio, and returned cash to shareholders all despite the global macro inflationary challenges. Building off our strong foundation, we have issued fiscal 2022 guidance for both top and bottom-line growth, which underscores our progress against our revitalization plan goals.”