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MillerCoors Says Price Hikes Helped Lift 2Q Profit

DENVER (AP) â¿¿ Beer maker MillerCoors said Tuesday that higher prices and cost management helped lift its net income by 10 percent in the second quarter.

For the three months ended June 30, the seller of Miller Lite and Coors Lite in the U.S. said it earned $438.3 million, up from $398.7 per share. Not including one-time costs, the company said its operating income rose 9.1 percent to $436 million.

MillerCoors is a joint venture owned by London-based SABMiller PLC and Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co.

The company said sales to retailers were down 1.4 percent during the quarter, which the company said was the result of the challenging economy. It also noted that unemployment among its key customer demographics worsened. Sales to wholesalers rose 0.3 percent.

Net sales rose to $2.22 billion, from $2.13 billion a year ago.

The company said Coors Light posted low-single digit growth for the quarter, helped by new lines such as Coors Light Silver Bullet Aluminum Pint. Miller Lite declined in the low-single digits, however.

The company's craft beer and import portfolio grew by double digits, helped by Leinenkugel's, Blue Moon and Peroni Nastro Azzurro. The below-premium portfolio â¿¿ which includes Miller High Life and Keystone Light â¿¿ declined in the mid-single digits. The premium portfolio, which includes Miller Genuine Draft, was down in the mid-single digits.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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