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Constellation Sales Up 6% To $2 Billion In Fiscal First Quarter, Despite Wine And Spirits Slowdown

June 29, 2018

Constellation Brands enjoyed a strong start to its fiscal year, reporting a 6% net sales rise to just over $2 billion in the three months through May.Operating income, however, was down 4% to $638 million on a comparable basis, as the group’s wine and spirits unit showed some softness. Constellation’s wine and spirits sales were down 2.5% to $672 million on the same period last year, as shipments fell 2.9%. Still, the company cited strength within its high-end wine stable, with focus brands like California’s Meiomi and New Zealand’s Kim Crawford continuing to make progress. Meiomi was up 11% to nearly 1.2 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, as Kim Crawford rose 10% to 1.3 million cases.

Constellation’s beer portfolio, however, continued to surge, led by its fast-growing Mexican import business. Boosted by the Modelo and Corona brands, the group’s beer shipments increased 8.6% to nearly 78 million cases in the first quarter, as sales surged 11% to close to $1.4 billion. Constellation CEO Rob Sands also credited “the successful execution and momentum of our new product introductions, including Corona Premier and Familiar,” as major contributors to beer’s solid first-quarter growth.

The Corona Extra (+3.2% to 126.4 million cases), Modelo Especial (+17.2% to 97.7 million cases), Corona Light (+0.3% to 16.5 million cases), Pacifico (+18.6% to 9.3 million cases), Negra Modelo (+15.9% to 5.4 million cases), and Modelo Especial Chelada (+39.7% to 5.4 million cases) labels all posted robust gains in calendar 2017, according to Impact Databank.—Christina Jelski

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