August 3, 2010 / 11:23 AM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-MillerCoors Q2 income up as beer prices rise

* MillerCoors Q2 income $389.7 million

* Q2 beer sales off 0.1 percent at $2.13 billion

* Cost savings programme on track

(Adds further details)

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - MillerCoors, the second-largest brewer in the United States, said its second-quarter net income rose by a fifth on Tuesday as higher beer prices, new products and cost savings helped offset lower beer volumes.

The combined U.S. operations of SABMiller Plc SAB.L and Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N) said underlying net income in its April-June quarter rose 19.8 percent to $389.7 million while net sales fell 0.1 percent to $2.13 billion.

“Now that we’re into the home stretch of the summer selling season, our results show some positive signs of progress. We grew profit by double digits in an unfavourable selling environment,” said MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely in a statement.

The company, formed in July 2008, has said it expects to make $750 million of cost savings over the first 4-1/2 years of its merger to end-2012. At the end of the second-quarter, cumulative cost savings had reached $481 million.

The brewer has a U.S. beer market share of nearly 30 percent behind Budweiser-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (ABI.BR) share of almost 50 percent. Molson Coors, with its main operations in the U.S., Canada and Britain, is due to report later on Tuesday.

Last month, SABMiller reported its April-June quarterly global underlying beer volumes dipped 1 percent while in the U.S. sales to retailers at MillerCoors fell 2.4 percent in the quarter [nLDE6650KH].

SABMiller shares were off 0.2 percent at 19.74 pounds in London by 1120 GMT. (Reporting by David Jones)

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