Constellation’s U.S. Shipments Slip, But Depletions Rise In Q3January 5, 2012
Constellation Brands reported today that its core U.S. wine business saw shipments slip 10.3% to 12.2 million cases in the three months through November, its fiscal third quarter, and 5.9% to 35.3 million cases in the nine months through the same date. Third-quarter North American net sales were down 8% to $701 million at constant currency. The group cautioned that the shipment declines were “driven largely by the overlap of distributor inventory build in the third quarter last year as part of the U.S. distributor consolidation initiative,” and said it expected improving sales in its final quarter.
While shipments lagged, Constellation’s depletions have risen in recent months, particularly on its “focus brands,” including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Svedka vodka and Blackstone. Its U.S. depletions were up 1.5% in total in the three months and 5.8% on its focus brands; for the nine months, total depletions were down 0.3%, while focus brands were up 4.1%.
Constellation CEO Rob Sands said focus brand growth was being complemented by the company’s surge of new products of late, including new wine offerings Simply Naked, Primal Roots, The Dreaming Tree, Rex Goliath Moscato, Woodbridge Malbec, Ruffino Prosecco and Arbor Mist Pomegranate Berry Pinot Noir.
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