MillerCoors, the joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, has served up some strong growth in the first quarter as 'Lite' beer brands both enjoying their strongest volume since the JV began.
First quarter underlying net income of $372.1m was up 22.2% on the same period last year, as total net sales increased 2.3% to $1.816bn.
Domestic net revenue per barrel, excluding contract brewing and company-owned distributor sales, increased 1.5%.
MillerCoors, which will be sold by perspective new owner Anheuser-Busch Inbev for $12bn as part of its plan to smooth the regulatory passage of its SABMiller takeover, in total saw domestic sales-to-retailers volume fall 1.3%.
However, both Coors Light and Miller Lite improved volume performance and both delivered flat STR volume in the quarter for the first time in the history of the MillerCoors joint venture.
Miller Lite gained share of the 'premium light' segment for the sixth consecutive quarter, the companies said, attributing the success to a new television ad campaign "highlighting the brand's authenticity and originality".
Coors Light also gained market share in the premium light segment, this for the fourth consecutive quarter, and enjoyed its best quarterly volume performance since the fourth quarter of 2012, with STR trends improving and getting to flat in the quarter.
It also benefited from its new 'Climb On' marketing campaign launched in January where, a statement said, the brand began to "reassert its pride in the quality of the beer and its heritage" linking drinking the beer with "climbing one's personal mountain".
AB Inbev hopes to complete the acquisition of SABMiller during the second half of 2016.
AB last week submitted an updated package of commitments to the European Commission (EC) in which it has offered to divest the entirety of SABMiller's businesses in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the agreed sale of Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime and their related businesses to Asahi.
It would sell Kompania Piwowarska of Poland, brewer of London's Polskie produkty favourites Tyskie and Lech; plus Dreher Breweries of Hungary, Plzenský Prazdroj and Pivovary Topvar in Czech Republic and Slovakia; and Ursus Breweries in Romania, which AB InBev said it expected to attract considerable interest from potential buyers.