Constellation Brands reports first quarter net sales of $2.05bn

By Laura Mullan
Constellation Brands, the US distributor of beers such as Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Pacifico, has reported net sales of $2.05bn in its first qua...

Constellation Brands, the US distributor of beers such as Corona Extra, Modelo Especial and Pacifico, has reported net sales of $2.05bn in its first quarter - 6% stronger than the same period last year. 

The FTSE-500 firm also generated $504mn of operating cash flow and $336mn of free cash flow, an increase of 32% and 104% respectively.

As well as this, Constellation Brands noted that its Corona Premier and Corona Familiar product launches were “off to a strong start,” exceeding company expectations as the first two major Corona innovations in over 25 years. 

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Looking forward, the company said that its beer business will continue to target high-single digit volume growth for the 2019 fiscal year. 

Meanwhile, its wine and spirits business will continue to target 2-4% growth of net sales and operating income for the 2019 fiscal year. 

“Our first quarter results are consistent with our expectations for the business and reflect planned investments in innovation for key brands, digital enablement, emerging opportunities, and operational efficiencies,” said Chief Executive Rob Sands. 

“We expect these investments to yield excellent returns well into the future. I am especially pleased with the successful execution and momentum of our new product introductions, including Corona Premier and Familiar, which drove industry-leading depletion growth of 9% for our beer business for the quarter.”

The owner of Robert Mondavi Wine and Svedka Vodka also said that its minority investment in Canopy Growth Corp., a Canadian seller of marijuana and hemp products, has already realised a gain of more than $700mn. 

Speaking of the results, Chief Financial Officer, David Klein, added: “We remain committed to achieving our guidance targets for the year, as the growth prospects for our business remain solid. 
“The strong operating cash flow we delivered in the first quarter enabled flexibility for venture and growth investments, as well as continued share repurchases and debt repayment.”

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