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Molson Coors set to reinstate dividend despite drop in first-quarter sales


MONTREAL — Molson Coors Beverage Co. said it expects to be in a position to reinstate its dividend in the second half of this year after its first-quarter profit beat expectations even as its revenue dropped nearly 10 per cent from a year ago.

The brewery and beverage company suspended its quarterly dividend and furloughed some employees as part of efforts last May due to global uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Molson Coors, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said its net income attributable to shareholders increased to US$84.1 million or 39 cents per diluted share in the first quarter, compared with a loss of US$117 million or 54 cents per share a year earlier.

Net sales for the three months ended March 31 fell to US$1.9 billion, from US$2.1 billion a year earlier.

The company faced a cybersecurity incident, a winter storm in Texas that caused its Fort Worth brewery to lose power and government sales restrictions in Britain in the quarter.

Excluding one-time items, its adjusted profit fell to US$1.6 million or one cent per share, down from US$77 million or 35 cents per share in the first quarter of 2020.

Molson Coors was expected on average to lose 10 cents per share on revenue of US$1.88 billion, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

"Our iconic core of beers continue to gain strength. For example, in the U.S., Coors Light finished the first quarter of 2021 with the strongest category share performance since the first quarter of 2017, and Coors Banquet posted its best quarterly brand volume performance in over four years," stated CEO Gavin Hattersley.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April, 29, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TPX.B)

The Canadian Press

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