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Molson Coors is now the world's 5th largest brewer. It was formed in 2005 from the merger of Canadian brewer Molson and the US company Adolph Coors. Until comparatively recently, the latter was merely America's #3 brewer, with virtually no profile outside its domestic market. But in 2001 the company was catapulted into the international big league following its surprise acquisition of the UK's Carling and other beer brands hived out of the former Bass portfolio. Having become the UK's #2 brewer almost overnight, the group went on to negotiate a merger with Molson which bolted on a leading position in Canada as well. Another significant development came in 2007 with Molson Coors' agreement to combine its US operations with those of rival SABMiller to create MillerCoors, a stronger competitor to local giant Anheuser-Busch. In the wake of AB InBev's break-up bid for SABMiller, Molson Coors took back full control of MillerCoors, and changed its name in 2020 to Molson Coors USA. The group's main focus remains on those two markets of North America and the UK, although it also exports to other territories, and established a presence in Eastern Europe in 2012 with the purchase of the Czech Republic's StarBev, makers of Staropramen, Bergenbier and Borsodi. The group also had operations in India for several years, through local beer Thunderbolt and others. This business, including Indian rights to the rest of the Molson Coors portfolio, was sold in 2021 to Singapore-based Inbrew. Molson Coors' main weakness is that its biggest brands have only a limited international footprint, even if sales are sizeable in their respective domestic markets. Miller, Coors and Molson, for example, have only a minimal profile outside North America. Perhaps the most widely travelled brand in Molson Coors' portfolio is US craft beer Blue Moon. Life has been challenging for several years: US performance has been impacted by the industrywide shift towards craft beers and imports, and more recently global sales were dented by the impact from the Covid pandemic on global on-trade sales. Revenues for 2020 slipped 9% to under $9.7bn, including a slump of more than a third in Europe, and a $1.5bn impairment charge against European operations resulted in a net loss of $949m Total volumes were 84.5m hectolitres. North America accounted for 85% of revenues and 76% of revenues. Gavin Hattersley succeeded Mark Hunter as CEO of Molson Coors in 2019.
Capsule checked 22nd April 2021
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Historical profile information for Molson Coors
Adbrands Daily Update 19th Nov 2019: Molson Coors moved into non-alcoholic beverages with a deal to acquire an undisclosed stake - reported to be 49% - in LA Libations, an incubator business that develops premium-priced "better for you" soft drinks. "LA Libations is on the leading and bleeding edge of where beverages are going,” Molson Coors' president of emerging growth Pete Marino told the Wall Street Journal. LA Libations has developed a series of drinks in past years that it sold onto companies including Coca-Cola and what is now Keurig Dr Pepper. Its current portfolio includes Aloe Gloe, a blend of water and aloe vera; turmeric root seltzer Arya; and tomato-and-clam-juice drink Arriba Chelada. Molson Coors already owns Clearly Kombucha, a maker of fermented tea it acquired last year.
Adbrands Daily Update 1st Aug 2019: Molson Coors CEO Mark Hunter is to retire in September, and will be replaced by Gavin Hattersley, currently head of the group's US subsidiary MillerCoors. "I have worked very closely alongside Gavin for many years," said Hunter, "and know the sharpness of his intellect, the intensity of his passion for the company and quality of his character and he will be a terrific leader of the overall business." The announcement coincided with disappointing 2Q results, in which sales and profits both came in below expectations as a result of continuing declines in the US, especially for top seller Coors Light.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Feb 2017: Molson Coors wrapped up a global review of media, awarding the biggest prize to Publicis Groupe. Its MillerCoors division in the US, now wholly owned following the break-up of SABMiller, appointed a new dedicated unit of Publicis Media to manage the business, previously housed at Initiative. That marks a major gain for Publicis and an equally significant loss for Initiative, worth in excess of $400m in billings. Connect at Publicis Media will be headed by Americas CEO Tim Jones, and will be headquartered in Chicago. However, WPP's Kinetic will continue to oversee out-of-home media, while MEC was reappointed for Molson Coors Canada. In the UK, Publicis-owned Zenith was reappointed to the local business.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Oct 2016: As it prepares to take ownership of SABMiller's stake in the US MillerCoors joint venture later this month, Molson Coors called a global review of media. This is currently split three ways. In its biggest market, the US, the account is managed by Initiative, with MEC handling Canada. In the UK, the business is held by ZenithOptimedia. The group is said to be seeking a single network to handle all three markets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Feb 2016: Analysts are hoping that Molson Coors' proposed buyout of MillerCoors in the US later this year will result do something to reignite performance after disappointing figures for 2015 from both businesses. Molson Coors' revenues of $3.6bn were down sharply year-on-year, even at constant exchange rates; volumes, and operating profits and net profits (of $360m) were also all lower than the year before. MillerCoors - soon to be wholly owned by Molson Coors - saw a similar decline in revenues to $7.7bn and in net income to $1.2bn.
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