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A Molson Coors brewery in Montreal, on June 3, 2015.Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

Molson Coors Beverage Co TPX-B-T beat first-quarter sales and profit expectations on Tuesday, benefiting from price hikes the brewer undertook over the quarters and from resilient demand for its beer brands.

The company’s shares rose about 1 per cent to $61 in premarket trading.

Like other brewers such as Constellation Brands Inc, the Coors Light maker has been lifting prices of its products from beers to hard seltzers to shield its margins from soaring material and energy costs that inflated with the war in Ukraine.

Inflation-hit consumers have been trading down from higher-priced beers to cheaper brands, benefiting companies like Molson Coors that also sell mainstream beers and malt beverages at more affordable prices even after having raised prices on them.

Analysts have said carry-over price increases from Molson Coors’ second round of hikes taken in 2022 would be the primary driver for the company during the first quarter.

Constellation Brands Inc in April forecast full-year profit above Wall Street estimates, expecting to gain from price increases and strong demand for its high-end beer brands.

Molson Coors’ net sales rose about 6 per cent to $2.35-billion in the quarter ended March 31, beating analysts’ average estimate of $2.23-billion, according to Refinitiv data.

The Chicago, Illinois-based company posted adjusted earnings of 54 cents per share, topping analysts’ expectations of 26 cents.

But it maintained full-year 2023 net sales forecast of a low single-digit increase from 2022 on a constant currency basis.

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