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Molson Coors Drops as Pandemic Hits European Sales

Molson Coors suffers from a 37.2% slide in fourth-quarter sales in Europe as the pandemic limited consumers and businesses.
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Shares of Molson Coors (TAP) - Get Molson Coors Beverage Company Class B Report fell sharply Thursday after the beer brewer reported weaker-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter amid COVID-induced weakness in Europe.

Revenue slid 7.7% in the quarter from a year earlier to $2.29 billion, below the FactSet analyst consensus of $2.41 billion. European sales dropped 37.2%. The pandemic led to widespread limitations on consumers and businesses, including bars, in Europe.

Molson shifted to a net loss of $1.37 billion, or $6.32 a share, in the latest quarter from net income of $163.7 million, or 75 cents a share, last year. Adjusted earnings per share fell to 40 cents from $1.02, far worse than the analyst consensus of 77 cents.

Molson shares traded at $43.94, down 10.3%. But they are still up 16% for the last six months.

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“The continued restrictions in the European on-premise channel had a significant impact on the year and quarterly results,” Chief Executive Gavin Hattersley said in a statement.

“The fact is our plan is working. When you consider what we set out to do under our revitalization plan and what we were faced with during the year, we accomplished an incredible amount in 2020 and that has given us a tremendous springboard for 2021,” the CEO said.

"While uncertainty and on-premise challenges remain, particularly in Europe, we anticipate 2021 to be a year of both top-line growth, as we begin to benefit from the early successes of our revitalization plan, and of investment, as we continue to drive toward long-term revenue and underlying EBITDA growth," said Chief Financial Officer Tracey Joubert.