—— Forwarded Message From: Shiuman Ho
It would appear that if I had bought Molson (the beer and the stock) in the past two years, I would now be richer and happier. Molson’s stock tripled while many high tech stocks dropped by 90%.
=========================================== Thursday May 2 6:15 PM EST
Molson Brews Bigger Profit, Says Cheers to Brazil
MONTREAL (Reuters) – Molson Inc.(Toronto:MOLa.TO – news), Canada’s oldest brewer, said on Thursday higher beer volumes and gains in market share added fizzle to its fourth-quarter earnings.
Molson, which became the world’s 13th largest brewer with the purchase of Brazil’s Kaiser in March, said it earned C$33.6 million ($21.5 million), or 28 Canadian cents a share, from continuing operations in the quarter ended March 31, up from C$25.7 million, or 22 Canadian cents a share, in the year-earlier period.
Revenue increased 10 percent to C$455.9 million.
“Our results are fine, but there is a lot more to achieve,” Molson president and chief executive, Daniel O’Neill, said in a conference call with analysts.
O’Neill said Molson would start a review of its Canadian and Brazilian operations in the coming days to look at increased cost savings and efficiencies opportunities.
Molson bought Kaiser, Brazil’s second-largest brewer, last month in a cash and stock deal worth $765 million. The deal was done in partnership with Heineken of the Netherlands, which scooped up a 20 percent stake. It increased Molson’s share of the fast-growing Brazilian beer market to 17.8 percent from 3.1 percent.
“The Kaiser transaction is clearly a transformational event for Molson,” O’Neill said, adding it would double the company’s volume.
But O’Neill said Kaiser’s profitability was lagging that of AmBev, which holds a 70 percent grip on the Brazilian market, and vowed to review marketing strategies to shore up the bottom line.
Reacting to published speculation about Heineken (HEIN.AS) buying Molson, O’Neill was unequivocal.
“There is not a bloody chance that this is going to happen,” he told analysts.
Molson’s fourth-quarter volumes increased by 12.3 percent to 3.3 million hectolitres, with volume in the mature Canadian market growing 1.5 percent, Molson said.
Its market share in Canada, where Molson locks horn with rival Labatt, owned by Belgium’s Interbrew, improved by 0.1 percent share point to 45.3 percent. In the United States, volume grew 1.3 percent during the quarter.
Molson stock ended up 35 Canadian cents at C$35.80 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, near its year high of C$36.50.
The stock has more than tripled its value over the past two years as management refocused the company on its core brewing business, selling the fabled, but money-losing, Montreal Canadiens professional hockey team in the process.
—— End of Forwarded Message