Molson Coors achieves double-digit top- and bottom-line growth in Q3

Molson Coors Beverage Company today reported another round of strong results in the third quarter of 2023. Globally, each of the company’s three largest markets (the U.S., Canada and the U.K.) are growing net sales revenue, volume, share or all three.

For Molson Coors, these results continue the growth trajectory the company has been on for several years and assert its ability to continue growing sustainably, said CEO Gavin Hattersley.

“We believe these gains are sustainable, and the strength of our brands coupled with the work we are doing gives us confidence we can maintain the gains we have achieved and grow off of them," said Hattersley.

U.S. beer trends remain sticky

Molson Coors grabbed more U.S. volume share than any brewer, with leading brands Coors Light and Miller Lite continuing their upward swings, while competitor AB InBev saw its prolonged declines continue.

Meanwhile, Circana data show that total share for Molson Coors’ two biggest U.S. brands continues to stick.

Coors Light and Miller Lite are growing dollar sales by double digits in the latest four weeks, while Miller Lite’s share of the industry is up nearly a full point compared to this time last year, even as the brand has begun lapping a period of strong share gains.

Conversely, AB Inbev's total U.S. portfolio has consistently lost nearly 5 points of total beer dollar share over the last 26 weeks.

The trends for Bud Light paint an even bleaker picture of continued declines.

The brand consistently lost nearly 3 points of total beer dollar share in the last four, 13 and 26 weeks, according to Circana – including a 2.95-point drop in the last four weeks, more than any other four-week period this year.

“The structural share change to the industry, we believe is going to stick,” Hattersley said. "This isn't a poll or a possibility. This is the fact as laid out in Circana. … We are very confident in the strength of our core brands in the U.S. and Canada. We have a clear plan on how to keep these share gains.”

Molson Coors’ total portfolio contributing to growth

In the third quarter, Coors Light’s U.S. volumes were up double digits, while Miller Lite volumes rose high single digits and Coors Banquet volumes grew nearly 30%.

Together, Coors Light and Miller Lite are on track to grow net sales revenue for the third straight year, a benchmark not seen since Miller and Coors merged in 2008.

Additionally, Molson Coors was the top dollar-share gainer in the U.S. economy segment, growing volume share for its two biggest economy brands, Miller High Life and Keystone Light. Of major U.S. brewers, it gained the second-most share of flavored alcohol beverages.

In all, brand volume in the U.S. grew 4.5% in the third quarter.

Growth being driven across largest global markets

Molson Coors reported growing net sales revenue volume, share or all three in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. – the company’s three largest global markets.

The company grew share nationally in every region of Canada and every segment of the Canadian beer industry. In the quarter, Molson brands grew share, Miller Lite grew volume by 50% and Coors Light widened its position as the number one light beer in the country, a position it’s held since March. Molson Coors also grew more share in flavor alcohol beverages than any other company in the industry.

In the U.K., Molson Coors was the best performing brewer in both volume and value share. Notably, the company became the No. 2 brewer in London, after ranking a distant No. 5 just a few years ago.

Madrí Excepcional continued to perform, becoming the second-largest above-premium lager in the on-premise and the third largest world beer in the U.K.’s total trade.

Growing shelf space, increased 2023 guidance

Among the more than 50 U.S. retail chains that moved their resets to the fall, Coors Light and Miller Lite benefited the most of any brands, growing between 6%-7% more shelf space.

“For brands of this size, that is a massive amount of space. In fact, it's tens of thousands of cubic feet of space,” Hattersley said. “These retailers are smart businesspeople, and when consumer trends shift to the degree they are shifting, chain retailers have two options: change shelf space allocations to meet the trends or leave money on the table. And they’re not going to leave money on the table. It’s as simple as that.”

Based on the strength of Molson Coors’ business, the company is increasing its bottom-line guidance and reaffirming its 2023 top-line guidance, but at the high end of the range. And it expects global brand volume growth to accelerate in the fourth quarter.

“We believe we can lap these results in 2024,” Hattersley said. “We delivered top- and bottom-line growth in 2022, we’re on track to do so again this year. And we plan to do so next year, too.”

Please see Molson Coors' earnings release to find important forward-looking statement disclosure and applicable reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures included in this story.