Molson Snags Overseas Growth Despite U.S. Beer Drinkers Taking a Breather

(Bloomberg) -- Americans may be drinking less beer -- but international consumers are still cracking enough cold ones to keep Molson Coors Brewing Co. buzzing along.

The beer-maker’s international volumes jumped almost 14 percent in the latest quarter, led by soaring Latin American demand, with European volumes also inching higher, the company said in its earnings report for the third quarter.

Strength overseas is a welcome development for the company, since beer sales have slowed in the U.S. as more drinkers gravitate to wine and hard liquor. U.S. brand volume fell 3.3 in the quarter, amid a drop in its premium light beers. Canadian volumes also slipped.

Molson Snags Overseas Growth Despite U.S. Beer Drinkers Taking a Breather

“Improving our volume performance in the U.S. is a priority and the first step is to improve our share performance through Coors Light and accelerated premiumization of the portfolio,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Hunter said in a statement.

The rise of legal cannabis in U.S. states and across Canada is also seen as a headwind for beer companies. Molson Coors has said it’s working with a Canadian company, Hexo Corp., to develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages.

The strong overseas performance helped send the company’s stock price up the most intraday in three years. Molson Coors shares rose as much as 12 percent to $64.91 -- the most since 2015. The stock had fallen 29 percent this year through Tuesday’s close.

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