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Constellation reports record first quarter.

Constellation Brands, Inc. of Fairport, NY, formerly known as Canandaigua Brands, has reported net income of $24 million for the three months ended May 31, 2001, an increase of 33 percent over net income reported for the three months ended May 31, 2000. Earnings per share on a diluted basis were $0.56, representing an increase of 17 percent from die same period a year ago.

Richard Sands, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Constellation, said, "Our three major revenue growth drivers, imported beer, U.K. wholesale and fine wine, were exceptionally strong. On a proforma basis for wholesale revenue, these three categories grew 19% in the first quarter.

Our strategy of offering consumers a wide array of choices through our broad based portfolio of beverage alcohol brands continues to deliver strong and consistent performance. "Sands added, "We continue to complement high levels of internal growth with strategic acquisitions. With the acquisition of brands from Turner Road and Corus this quarter we see substantially improved margins in our popular and premium wine business."

Net sales reached $642 million for First Quarter 2002, a 10 percent increase over First Quarter 2001. After adjusting for foreign currency impact, net sales for First Quarter 2002 were 12 percent greater than First Quarter 2001.

Net sales growth was driven primarily by the inclusion of the brands acquired in the Turner Road Vintners and Corus acquisitions, completed March 5 and March 26, 2001, respectively, and increases in imported beer, fine wine and U.K. wholesale sales. Excluding the Acquisitions, net sales for First Quarter 2002 grew six percent on a currency-adjusted basis compared to the prior period. Gross profit for First Quarter 2002 was $202 million compared to $184 million in the prior year period.

According to company execs, the improvement in gross profit was primarily related to sales from the acquisitions and increased imported beer and fine wine sales. As a percent of net sales, gross profit remained relatively unchanged at 31 percent for First Quarter 2002, as compared to First Quarter 2001.

First Quarter 2002 selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percent of net sales, were favorable by 100 basis points versus the comparable quarter a year ago, declining from 21.6 percent to 20.6 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $132 million for First Quarter 2002 compared to $126 million reported for the same period last year.

Barton's net sales for First Quarter 2002 were $254 million, an increase of eight percent versus the comparable quarter a year ago. The increase resulted primarily from a 12 percent increase in imported beer net sales, led by volume gains in the Mexican beer portfolio. Operating income grew to $44 million in First Quarter 2002, an increase of 13 percent versus the comparable quarter last year.
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Title Annotation:Constellation Brands Inc.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 9, 2001
Words:465
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