Citing negative volume trends in the U.S. and Canada, Molson Coors reported a 2.1 percent decline in net sales in 2018, according to yesterday’s full-year earnings report.
In 2018, Molson Coors posted nearly $10.8 billion in net sales, down from more than $11 billion in 2017. Global brand volumes of Molson Coors products declined 1.9 percent, to 92.1 million hectoliters, while net sales per hectoliter increased 0.9 percent.
Molson Coors’ full-year domestic sales-to-wholesalers (STWs) declined 4.4 percent compared to 2017 levels. Sales-to-retailers (STRs) were down 3.9 percent, which the company attributed to lower volumes in the premium light and economy segments.
However, Molson Coors’ fourth-quarter trends were even worse. Global net sales in Q4 declined 6.2 percent, to $2.4 billion, despite slight growth in sales per hectoliter (+0.3 percent). The company’s worldwide brand volumes also declined 1.5 percent, to 22 million hectoliters, in the quarter.
Some pundits say this is more evidence of changing consumer tastes and preferences since overall wine and spirits sales are growing while big beer is shrinking. However the overall sales numbers from craft beer are growing very strongly so it might be changing tastes in beer that are the culprit.