Molson Coors Brewing Company's CEO Hosts 2013 Analyst Meeting (Transcript)

| About: Molson Coors (TAP)

Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE:TAP)

2013 Analyst Meeting

June 12, 2013 2:00 pm ET


Peter S. Swinburn - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Gavin Hattersley - Global Chief Financial Officer and Chief Accounting Officer

Tom Long - Chief Executive Officer

Mark Saks


Bryan D. Spillane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

John A. Faucher - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

Mark D. Swartzberg - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Judy E. Hong - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Vivien Azer - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Ian Shackleton - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Robert E. Ottenstein - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Peter S. Swinburn

In the U.S., through our JV with SABMiller, we are the #2 beer company with a 29% volume share. We own the best-performing premium light beer with Coors Light, and for Tenth and Blake, we are the largest craft beer company in the U.S., with brands like Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's.

In Canada, we have an overall market share with 39%, which is a close #2 position behind Labatt's. Coors Light is the #1 beer in Canada, with nearly a 14% share and our second largest brand Molson Canadian with an 8% share.

In Europe, we are the #1 company in Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. And the #2 in the Czech Republic. We also have a attractive share positions in Hungary and Romania, with 24% and 15% market share, respectively.

And in the U.K., we have a strong #2 position with 18% of the market and the #1 brand. That brand is Carling with nearly a 13% share. But the beginning of this year, we combined our U.K. and Central European operations into a single European unit.

To Molson Coors International, we are now building momentum in a number of important emerging markets, such as China, India, Ukraine and Central America. Despite the economic backdrop, we have successfully leveraged our leading positions in these markets to generate strong results.

Over the past 5 years, we have generated nearly $750 million in synergies and cost savings, increased our underlying free cash flow generation by 70%, from $508 million in 2008, to $865 million in 2012. We have grown EBITDA every year since 2008, and increased underlying after-tax profit since 2008 at a compound annual rate of 9%. The fundamentals of this business are strong. More importantly, they are improving.

Our leading market and brand positions combined with smart portfolio investment places Molson Coors in a very good position to take advantage of rising consumer confidence on an improved economic outlook.

With that as a setup, let's review how our business has progressed since we presented to you last year.

Last year, we said our focus was on driving growth opportunities across all of our market, both developed and developing. We told you that the way that we were going to deliver that growth was through a three-tiered strategy, capitalizing on M&A opportunities that deliver shareholder value, accelerating our growth in new and emerging markets to diversify our revenue streams and to maximize our profits in our core developed markets.

All of this, we said, would be underpinned by a strong and sustained focus on cost savings.

Let's start with M&A. Our stated goal has always been to expand the scale and diversity of our business while delivering attractive returns. To this end, we completed the purchase of StarBev last June. We purchased the business for around $3.4 billion. This represented a multiple of 10.8x 2011 pro forma EBITDA, a very reasonable multiple to a business with good long-term growth profile.

This transaction gives us more exposure to higher growth markets in the region, where GDP is forecast to grow with twice the rate of Western Europe. This org [ph] is well for the category generally, and especially for the premium segment, which is currently less than 10% of the total market. This acquisition also gives us and international brand in Staropramen, and new division opportunities from our existing portfolio.

Based on 2012 results, Central Europe now mixed up 11% of our revenue and business unit profits. Together with the U.K., our new Europe business will now be nearly 28% of revenues and 16% of profits.

The integration is running ahead of schedule and this acquisition will provide Molson Coors with a strong platform for growth going forward.

So on pursuing a smart M&A strategy, we did exactly what we said we would do.

Our International business is charged with laying the foundations for future growth in a few key markets. This has largely been brand as opposed to asset driven, and its scale continues to increase with retail volume growth of 59% last year.

Despite the underperformance of our China joint venture last year, which we are liquidating, we are making progress elsewhere. We have restructured our Coors Light business in the rest of China, improved performance in Japan, folded in the Central European license and export businesses, and expanded in India, Ukraine and Russia.

Over the past 3 years, we have tripled our volume in Molson Coors International and reduced our investment per hectoliter by over 23% annually.

Looking ahead, we are particularly excited about our prospects in India, where we are selectively expanding into new states, in Central America, where we continue to see significant growth for Coors Light, and across Europe, where MCI is growing the export in license business to Staropramen.

As a result, we now expect MCI to achieve profitability in 2016, while continuing to contribute to top line growth of the overall business.

We laid this objective out for you last year and we are on track to achieve it as we promised.

In the third and most important area, our developed markets, we saw mixed results. However, we made important strategic investments in our base business around premiumizing our portfolio, step changing our innovation agenda and driving greater operational and financial efficiencies, all of which we expect to prove positive for us over the next few years.

In Central Europe, we did not repeat the 2011 end of year stock build. We eliminated low-margin own label business in Hungary, and replaced the senior management in Romania.

In the U.K., Coors Light, Doom Bar and Cobra all grew, and we saw a successful launch of Carling Zest. We also began to lay the foundations for an improved Carling performance, of which more later.

The NHL lockout affected Canada but our performance there was not as we would've wanted and we began to take more cost out of the business at the yearend. Again, more on that later.

Last year, we said we would focus on growth in our developed markets and we began to lay the foundations of that commitment. A foundation that this year is delivering strong value-added innovation, strong moral core brand performance, increased share of owned above premium and cost savings and commercial excellence across all of our business.

Let me start with innovation. Drinkers everywhere, not just in the U.S., are making different alcohol choices for different occasions and they're looking for more flavors and options. We're responding to this in both our core and above premium segments. And in so doing, we are bringing new drinkers into the category and minimizing the amount of cannibalization on our existing brands. These innovations are premium priced, and they encourage consumers to trade up within our portfolio.

We also undertake packaging innovation. And here, such as we've done with the cold-activated bottle, we have a core skill set. These packaging innovations are not always premium-priced, but they do deliver strong market share growth.

Innovation has delivered more than $100 million of incremental gross profit to our business in the past 3 years. Led by our Central European business, we were on target this year to achieve 87% of net sales revenue from innovation having already launched Redd's Apple Ale, Third Shift, Carling Zest Extensions, Carling and Molson Ciders, Molson Canadian Wheat, and Rickard's Summer Shandy.

Innovation is key to our portfolio strategy, and therefore, key to our growth strategy.

So far, we are right where we plan to be and have an exciting pipeline that is full for the next 3 years.

Having said all that, our #1 job has to be keeping our core brands relevant and in growth. For Molson Coors, over 60% of our volume and even more of our profit is generated from these brands. If they succeed, we succeed. The first objective of every operational leader is to gain volume and margin share for their core brands.

Currently, performance is strong for all brands with the exception of Miller Lite, with Coors Light gaining share in the depressed U.S. market, and Carling and Staropramen both in growth. Having turned Canadian around 3 years ago, the family has been expanded and is now in a much healthier position.

And as you will see, our major brands in Central Europe continue to perform strongly. It's worth reviewing just how stronger position we have with all of our core brands as their performance is fundamental to our success.

Coors Light is the #1 brand in Canada and #2 brand in the U.S., where it has enjoyed 8 years of volume growth and is gaining significant growth with multicultural consumers. In fact, in the U.S., Coors Light volume growth last year was more than the top 10 craft brewers combined. It is now our #2 brand in the U.K., and growing at strong double-digits. It is #4 lager brand in Ireland, and to the first quarter, has more than doubled in Panama, and grown by over 5% in Mexico.

Packaging developed on Coors Light has been industry-leading. The advertising is clever and always aligned to Rocky Mountain cold refreshment propositions. This combination of innovation has helped drive the positive pricing and share gains seen in recent years across all markets and we see no reason why this should change. And of course, introducing fresh new ad creative that reinforces the brand proposition also helps.

Let's take a look at an explorer ad that we're using globally that builds on Coors Light's unique proposition.


Molson Canadian experienced 6 straight years of high single-digit decline until 2010. We turned the brand around based on the made in Canada organizing idea. Since then, we have launched Canadian 67, which has enjoyed 3 years of growth and being awarded multiple best brand and brewing awards. And introduced the brand into Québec, where it is soaking up lost volume from Molson Export. Earlier this year, we also launched Canadian wheat. We have moved in a position where we were losing significant share to one where we have a brand family that now offers a very exciting future. Through a focus on innovation and strong consistent branding, we won a much firmer footing and we have just launched Canadian in Ireland where it is performing well ahead of expectations.

Let's have a look at the newest ads we are running for Canadian, which put our drinker back at the heart of the story.


As I've said here earlier, we took action last year to improve Carling's performance in the U.K. We have new creative and have locked in increased feature and display with major on and off trade retailers. The core brand grew share in the first quarter. And since then we have launched the Carling Zest variant on the back of last year's successful line extension, along with Carling Cider. The latter with its strong margin combined with a new lower cost flow wrap packaging gives the brand the value chain that allows increased investment. You've seen the benefit of this even before the new creative hits the market. But let me give you a preview of the new ad that we are launching later this month.


As we saw from Canadian, the strength of the Carling brand allows it to travel. It is growing at a double-digit rate in Ukraine, and is just being launched in Croatia, and will soon be launched China and Russia.

Staropramen is our newest core brand and one that, like Carling, is emerging as an international brand. With strong sales in Russia, Ukraine and Sweden, we have invested in its rollout across Central Europe, and we have been rewarded with double-digit growth. The brand also continues to show share growth in the first quarter in the Czech Republic.

Again, let's take a look at one of the international TV ads for Staropramen.


In its home country, Staropramen has quickly emerged as one of the biggest pioneers in the beer mix segment. We now have aligned a Staropramen cool extensions that come in lemon, grapefruit and orange, and we will also be introducing a bitter orange, along with a black currant and lime. In the first quarter, we debuted a Staropramen cool side of beer mix, the world's first low alcohol cider and beer mix. A significant part of the growth for Staropramen is through these line extensions and we believe the brand will continue to growth in its home country, as well as throughout Europe and beyond.

Of the core brands that operate in only 1 market, Miller Lite has been the poorest performer and one in which we still have work to do. That starts with the new It's Miller Time campaign featuring celebrities Ken Jeong, Chuck Liddell and Questlove, and this has tested very well.

We were also launching a new on-premise Miller Lite bottle that debuted nationally this spring. It follows last year's successful punch top can launch that led to the best performance in the brand's 12 and 16-ounce can business since the formation of Miller Coors. We believe this new bottle will assist in regaining share in the on-premise, which has always been an important driver for Miller Lite sales. Miller Lite is still a very big profitable brand and has a strong connection for a large segment of beer drinkers in the U.S

In addition to Staropramen, we have very strong positions across Central Europe. Without going into details of every brand in every market, it's worth noting that we have the #1 brand in 5 of the 7 markets in which we operate and have gained momentum across many of those markets this year.

For instance, in Bulgaria, we have had 5 consecutive years of solid market share growth. And through the first quarter of this year, have achieved our highest share growth to date, and Kamenitza is now the #1 brand in the market.

Similarly, in Croatia, our solid market leadership position has improved even further during the first quarter to 46%, the highest we have ever achieved, driven by share growth performance in all price segments with Ožujsko, the #1 brand. We're feeling very good about the strength of our core brand positions in Central Europe, and the plans that we have to grow them in the future.

So we have a strong innovation pipeline and a very healthy positioning for our core brands. But we need to gain more share in the above premium segment across our markets. Currently, we're under-indexed in these segments and we are taking steps to double our volume over the next few years. We are fortunate to start from a very strong foundation.

2012 was another successful year for Tenth and Blake. It is America's largest craft brewer, accounting for full quarter of craft volume growth in 2012. Retail sales volume grew in the mid-teens, outpacing the overall craft and import market for the second year. Leading Tenth and Blake tremendous growth has been our 2 flagship brands: Blue Moon and Leinenkugel's. Last year, Blue Moon brewing company was up double-digits of gain off a huge base and has the highest velocity on distribution of any craft beer. It is now -- it now has a 10% share of the entire craft segment, already selling more than 2 million hectoliters annually.

And with Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy nearly doubling, the Leinie's franchise is now the fourth largest craft brand in the U.S.

We will continue to drive momentum around Blue Moon with innovative seasonals, such as Blue Moon Spiced Amber Ale, and we were also looking at extending the Leinenkugel's Shandy Brand with an orange-flavored version for the fall.

We're not stopping there. To this line up, we are adding a series of exciting new brands that will broaden our appeal to beer drinkers in this fast-growing high-margin segment. These include Batch 19, Third-Shift, Redd's Apple Ale and Crispin Cider. The latter more than doubled since last year.

We have now taken Batch 19 nationally and continue to solid growth in the brand as we drive distribution. Our 2 biggest new brand launches this year, Redd's Apple Ale and Third Shift, were initiated in the first quarter.

In Canada, we have replicated this with the Six Pints organization, which grew volume by 10% last year against the craft segment of 9%. Creemore and Granville, our 2 main brands under Six Pints, have been powerful regional brands for over 20 years. And this past year, we expanded the footprint of these brands across Canada. We took Creemore West, and we took Granville East.

Creemore had excellent growth of 37% across all the new markets. The brand also introduced a Mad & Noisy collection of beers that further expands our Bud premium portfolio. Granville has doubled its volume in new expansion markets. About 19% of Granville volume now comes from outside British Columbia.

In addition to Creemore and Granville, we have the Rickard's brand, which is our largest and most profitable owned above premium brand. This year, we will be focused on bringing in new drinkers in 2 ways. First, we'll grow the volume through a bold new ad campaign packaging and on-premise tools that will refresh the brand on all of its line extensions, red, white, dark and blonde.

Secondly, we have the launch of Rickard's Summer Shandy. This introduces the brand to a fast-growing segment, which will attract consumers from outside the beer category.

To make all of this happen, we have increased the marketing spend behind Rickard's by over 40% this year, which marks the highest level of investment the family has ever seen.

This summer, Six Pints will be expanding into Québec, which is second largest craft beer market in Canada, and represents a significant volume opportunity for the Creemore Mad & Noisy, and Granville Island brands.

In total, we now capture more than 35% of the overall above premium segment in Canada, and look forward to even greater growth in volume profit and share for these brands in the coming year.

Just like craft beer in North America, cask ales are a valuable part of the above premium market in the U.K., and we are currently growing at 13% annually.

With this in mind, we have been building our portfolio in this segment. In early 2011, we purchased the Sharp's Brewery, home of the Doom Bar brand, which we have since grown by 45%, making it the fastest-growing cask ale in the market.

Together, with Blue Moon and Cobra, which we added to our U.K. portfolio in 2011 and 2010, respectively, our U.K. above premium and craft portfolio is now growing at over 25% per year. But as with other markets, we are focused on accelerating that trend. So earlier this year, we purchased our Fransican Well brewery based in Cork. Together with Blue Moon, and the recent launch of Canadian, we are leading the development of a robust above premium and craft segment in Ireland. At the same time, we are finalizing plans to introduce Blue Moon into other select European markets. Above premium is growing. It's a high-value segment across Europe. Of the 4 growth drivers, we have more work to do here than anywhere, but also the most upside and the most opportunity. We believe our approach to the craft segment innovation and the opportunities in Europe will continue to improve our margin mix. Our under-representation in this segment and the need for margin performance makes this a must.

Now we are intensely focused on the front end of the business, i.e. making and selling beer. We're also determined to improve the efficiency of our overall business operations. We need to reduce costs and complexity, eliminate waste to standardize processes so that we can be more competitive and free up more cash. The StarBev acquisition has opened up new opportunities for sharing best practices across the business.

We have cost-saving initiatives that touch a range of functions, but largely they fall into 2 areas, commercial execution and back-office operations. With respect to improving our commercial execution capabilities, we are currently focused on 2 key programs, field sales management and revenue management. We are sharing best practices across our business, standardizing our sales reports and incentive structures globally, and applying common models for outlet execution and measurement tools.

On our supply chain and back-office functions, IT, HR and finance, we have launched 1 way initiatives to eliminate redundancies, free up resources, improve our overall execution and deliver strong results. Gavin will provide you with more on our expected savings coming out of these and other programs, but let me reiterate that these cost-saving initiatives are a top priority for us.

The fundamentals of our business are strong. And in the face of weak consumer demand, we are taking the right steps to position the company to solid sustainable growth. That growth is based on delivering an increasing share of revenue from innovation, share growth through our core brands, accelerated success in the above premium category, strong commercial execution and increased operational efficiency. Successfully executing against these platforms, together with improving economies and a focus on high return usage of capital, provides a strong recipe for improved performance and long-term value for our shareholders.

Now let me turn it over to Gavin, who will walk you through the financial strategies that will support these platforms.

Gavin Hattersley

Thanks, Peter, and good afternoon, everybody. It's good to be back here in New York with you all.

So Peter was taking you through our strategies to drive top line and bottom line performance, along with value for our shareholders.

I'd like to share our perspective regarding our company's historical performance in 4 key areas, the steady growing pretax profit we've generated even in difficult times, a strong very stable EBITDA, substantial cash generation and cash return to shareholders, together with a growing shareholder return.

I also plan to share some of our strategies designed to drive total shareholder returns through brand-led profit growth, cash generation and disciplined cash and capital allocation.

From an investor standpoint, some of the most attractive attributes of the global beer industry are its relatively stable volume, profit and cash flow, even in weak economic times. You can see here that our bottom line results over the past several years have not always been that consistent. A lot of this volatility has been driven by unusual items related to business restructuring, acquisition-related costs, particularly in 2012, and below the line sector such as changes in tax rates and changes in interest.

If we strip these factors out, you can see that we've grown underlying pretax profits in 6 out of the past 7 years, including in the most difficult economic times in the last 7 decades. Overall, our underlying pretax income has nearly doubled from 2005 through 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of 10%.

But most importantly, over the same period, we have generated a steady strong and growing stream of underlying EBITDA, despite the macroeconomic challenges in our core markets, which you can see from this chart. These numbers include our 42% share of MillerCoors' EBITDA.

This chart really emphasizes the stable foundation of our business model. And in particular, the resources this company generates each and every year that can be used to grow both our top line and bottom lines and deliver value to our shareholders. The strong growth in underlying EBITDA in 2012 was driven primarily by the addition of our Central European business last June. On a per share basis, we increased underlying EBITDA 13% last year to nearly $8 per diluted share. This strong and steady EBITDA growth has allowed us to substantially increase our cash returns to shareholders over the past 7 years, primarily via dividends.

Since 2007, we have doubled our quarterly dividend rate to $0.32 per share. We're also very proud of the fact that since going public nearly 40 years ago, our company has never reduced its dividend.

In addition to the $1.2 billion of dividends paid in the past 7 years, we repurchased $321 million of our Class B common shares in the second part of 2009, prior to the Central Europe acquisition.

And while we do not have a set dividend payout ratio, we do strive to be competitive with our peer group. And right now, we're near the top of the range for beverage companies and in line with the average of the broader consumer packaged goods market.

Now because of the number of transformational deals we've completed in the past decade, our ratios that are based on total assets or otherwise includes step up intangible asset values, [indiscernible] benchmark lower than the other global brewers. If we remove just the intangibles and related amortization from first calculation and focus in on the underlying return on tangible assets, the results show that our underlying return has increased to 13.2% in 2012, and we have further upside potential as we continue to drive profit cash generation and capital efficiency in the years ahead.

Our #1 ongoing priority as a company is to drive returns to our shareholders. This chart shows our total shareholder return or stock price change plus dividends over the past 7 years, which coincides with the most included [ph] merger.

While our total return has outpaced the S&P 500 index over this timeframe, the story is really told in shorter time periods. Our performance in 2007 and 2008 benefits significantly from the announcement and expected synergies that were going to be driven by the formation of MillerCoors, along with increasing dividends paid. While 2009 through 2012, it reflect the lasting impact of the global recession and financial crisis that began in 2008.

However, it is worth noting that our TSR in the first 5 months of this year has outperformed the broader markets.

In order to support the focus that we have on driving increased returns through brand-led business performance, capital efficiency and disciplined cash use, we've introduced a model that keys on profit off the capital charge or as we call it PACC. This model is similar to many other models that are used in the marketplace to evaluate business performance and we believe it is closely correlated with total shareholder return performance over time.

We're in the process of cascading our PACC model, down through the leadership of the company and it is currently being used extensively in business case and performance assessment. And I'm showing here the primary drivers of PACC, and ultimately, TSR in our business, our brand-led profit growth, cash generation and cash and capital allocation.

Peter has covered the critical growth enabling components of PACC, and as he said, they're delivering an increasing share of revenue from innovation, a strong growth in our core brands, accelerated success in the above premium category, strong commercial execution and increased operational efficiency.

Now I'd like to highlight our strategies and results regarding some of the other drivers of PACC, which include our cost reduction performance in gold, cash generation and effective cash and capital allocation.

So based on numerous questions that I've been receiving during our quarterly earnings calls, I guess you're expecting me to talk about our cost savings programs in this meeting. So I'm not going to disappoint you and let me do that now.

Our cost savings programs over the past several years have provided much needed fuel to drive our top line and the profit and cash trends that I mentioned earlier as well.

Annualized cost savings have totaled more than $1 billion, including 42% of MillerCoors' savings, which equated to $368 million, with a balance of $710 million coming from our other operations.

We are proud of our company's performance

in the area of cost effectiveness, and in particular, of the fact that we have exceeded every single cost savings targets that we have been set, and generally, we've exceeded it much quicker than we originally anticipated.

Given this track record of performance, it's not surprising that cost management has become a way of life at Molson Coors, and this will not change going forward. We will continue to aggressively drive cost out of our business to ensure that we remain competitive for the long term such that we now anticipate cost savings of $40 million to $60 million per year for at least the next 5 years, with the next 2 to 3 years expected to be at the top end of that range.

This expectation includes the synergies from our Central Europe acquisition, but it does not include any cost savings from MillerCoors.

We will continue to drive efficiency and report back on a quarterly basis.

As a reminder, MillerCoors has announced programs concluded at the end of 2011, with $765 million of savings delivered a full year ahead of plan.

In the 5 quarters since that time, MillerCoors has delivered an incremental $127 million of savings, of which $16 million was achieved in the first quarter of 2013.

Our share of $127 million equates to $53 million.

And although MillerCoors is no longer providing cost-reduction targets, ongoing cost savings are a key driver in its meeting to a margin guidance, which anticipates EBITDA margin growth over the years ahead.

I've been in a number of places, but Molson Coors is at the end of its cost savings capability. As far as I'm concerned, nothing could be further from the truth. So let me give you just a few examples to back up that statement. Restructuring and integrating the U.K. business into our Europe segment. In the fall, we will consolidate data centers and help their support as we upgrade Central Europe software tools, the full program of IT integration with Central Europe will stay close to $8 million annually, reducing overhead expenses across the company, particularly in Canada and the U.K.

Global procurement, which is leveraging our new scale and reducing key input costs in each of our businesses. Standardizing our processes globally, we're implementing 1 way of doing business in areas that includes supply chain, information systems, marketing and our back office functions. These changes drive both efficiency and scalability by benchmarking and standardizing key performance indicators and sharing best practices in areas ranging from water usage in our breweries, to finance shared services.

As a specific example, we will lift and shift our Canada supply chain IT systems to the U.K. later this year, which will not only provide us with standard reports, tools, measures and reporting, but which will also enable us to compare performance across all our breweries, drive cost efficiencies and share best practices.

A final example to use are the way we're driving our costs from our businesses, running a more sustainable operation. From 2008 through 2012, we reduced costs related to waste fees and taxes. We lowered energy and water usage, and we increased sales of materials that would otherwise have been discarded. This not only increases -- contributes materially to our cost savings, but it's also the kind of effort that got us recognized by the Dow Jones sustainability index for the past 2 years. This year, as the global beverage sector leader.

These are just a few examples that support our confidence that we will deliver on the $40 million to $60 million per annum savings.

As in the past, we expect to invest a large portion of these savings behind brand-led growth opportunities, including innovation, and further cost efficiency projects to drive profitable growth in our business.

As part of our efforts to drive positive profit after capital charge, we have increased our focus on capital and cash efficiency. Our capital spending this year is expected to be approximately $330 million. If we add in 42% of MillerCoors, the total will be in the range of $450 million to $500 million. This level of spending is higher than maintenance capital expenditures, primarily due to business transformation costs in the United States, and systems projects in Europe, as well as brand and packaging innovations across all our markets. We expect to maintain this level of spending until at least 2015.

Working capital efficiency particularly payables, receivables and inventories is another big driver of cash and PACC.

During the past 4 years, we've implemented a number of initiatives to improve our working capital performance globally. And as a result, receivable collections have improved by about 9% from 68 days to 62 days. While days inventory are down by about 13%, from 38 days to 33 days. In addition, our days payable outstanding has improved by 50% to 66 days.

These factors have driven a substantial improvement in overall cash conversion cycle for our business, which has moved from 62 days down to 28 days during the full year period.

And we believe we still have ample opportunity to drive further working capital efficiency, particularly given the best practice that we are lifting and shifting from our Central Europe business. In fact, last year, we set ourselves a goal of generating $300 million of additional working capital savings over a 3-year time period and we are well on track to achieve this goal with nearly $70 million of these savings already delivered in 2012.

This combination of profit growth and improvements in cost and capital efficiency have allowed Molson Coors to generate $4.3 billion of underlying free cash flow over the past 7 years, as you can see on this chart.

Even after substantial investments in brands, innovation and efficiencies, we are a very cash-generative business. Our free cash flow generation will be particularly important in the years ahead as we pay down debt related to the StarBev acquisition. We continue to expect to generate $700 million of underlying free cash flow for 2013, plus or minus 10%. This $165 million decrease from last year is driven by higher expected cash use for pensions, taxes, interest and capital expenditure, partly offset a significant improvement in working capital.

Thirdly, emphasizing the cash generative nature of our business on a per share basis, our underlying free cash flow has been substantial in recent years, including nearly $5 per share in 2 out of the last 3 years.

For the next 1 to 2 years, our free cash flow will be focused primarily on paying down debt in order to return our leverage ratio to the pre-StarBev acquisition levels. An investment credit rating is important to Molson Coors and we have plans in place with the rating agencies to maintain it.

On a pro forma S&P basis, as shown here, this would mean reducing our adjusted debt to underlying EBITDA from 4.4x at the end of last year to about 3x over the next 12 to 24 months.

We have approximately $1.2 billion of debt maturing this year, which we plan to retire with a combination of cash on hand and refinancing with the commercial paper program we have put in place.

Overall, we have ample available cash and bank facilities to meet all of our obligations coming due in 2013, as well as the next obligation, which will be a CAD 900 million note, which is maturing in September of 2015.

How we use all of this cash is just as important as the amount we generate. Our cash use priorities are focused in 3 areas. Firstly, balance sheet strength, we will allocate cash to reducing debt and other liabilities, as well as funding our penchants.

Secondly, returning cash to our shareholders. As I said earlier, we've returned more than $1.5 billion to our shareholders by our dividends and stock repurchases over the past 7 years. While we are deleveraging our balance sheet, we will not be considering share buybacks and we plan to keep our dividend constant for the time being.

And thirdly, brand-lead growth opportunities. We selectively consider investments in branded companies, innovations and capital investments that support our brands. Recent examples would include the acquisition of Doom Bar, Creemore, Granville Islands and Cobra, all of which have improved our above premium portfolio and all of which have exceeded our return expectations, some meaningfully so.

While we consider value enhancing uses of cash in each of these areas on an ongoing basis, as I mentioned, our primary use in the short term will be on paying down debt.

In deciding all significant uses of cash, we use a very disciplined process anchored by our profit after capital charge model and these uses must meet our return criteria providing clear visibility to short-term earnings accretion and achieving a return on invested capital in excess of the appropriate weighted average cost of capital in 3 to 5 years or less.

So in summary, since the formation of Molson Coors in 2005, our company has achieved steady growing pretax profit even in difficult times, as strong growing and very stable EBITDA, substantial cash returns to our shareholders, together with a growing total shareholder return.

And now, I'll return the meeting to Peter for wrap up and Q&A. Peter?

Peter S. Swinburn

Okay, thanks, Gavin. Just trying to summarize. Gavin has talked about shareholder return. As a management team, we strongly believe that the foundation, the absolute foundation of good shareholder return is leading growth, that top sector that he actually talked about.

Our job as a management team is to ensure that we deliver, as a business, the best possible growth that we can. The external world will be what the external world will be, and certainly the last 5 years has not been very helpful. What we tried to show you here is that even under those circumstances, we've actually delivered a very credible, if not, very good performance. We believe that the external world will not suddenly turn around, but we do believe it is going to become more benign. And even, dare I say, helpful.

Irrespective of that, our job is to do -- is to deliver the very best growth that this business can deliver. We, our branded business, we've a consumer goods, branded business, our growth is rooted in the strength of our brands.

So let me reiterate, we have strong #1 or 2 positions in the vast majority of markets within which we operate. Much, much more importantly, we have strong #1 or 2 brand positions in the markets in which we operate and those brands, the majority of those brands are gaining market share and they're gaining market share because they have got very, very strong brand propositions.

Some of them, implemented recently, which have completely turned brands around like Canadian. Because of those strong brands propositions many of those brands we can export. That is fundamental. If we don't do that, we don't grow, that is the basis of all growth and we're in a very good position.

Add to that, the innovations that are now coming online and adding to our revenue growth. And we have work to do in above premium, but we have great opportunities.

Those propositions that work so well Coors Light, Rocky Mountain cold refreshment in the U.S. work just as well when you take them to the U.K., where Coors Light is now #2 in our fastest growing brand. It works just as well when you take it to Panama or to Ireland, where Coors Light is #4.

The beauty of Prague, the aspiration of Prague as a city and the quality of Czech beer, travels just as well to Ukraine and Russia and Croatia, as it does to other markets and people are willing to pay a premium for that.

The Britishness of Carling resonates in Ukraine and Croatia. If you think about above premium markets, they are made up -- the growth of the above preview markets in recent years have been made in 2 core areas; imports, which I just talked about because we are now developing a very special niche of brands, Staropramen, Coors Light and Carling, that we can take internationally. And even with the work we've done at Molson Coors -- Molson Canadian, I'm sorry, recently, we now have a proposition that we can export and we've done so to Ireland. So we've got that export piece, the import piece of high margin.

The other bit that's been successful has been craft. We have done exceptionally well with craft beer in the United States. We believe that model is replicable. We have replicated it in Canada, it is working. We have replicated in the U.K., it is working. We have replicated it in Ireland, it is working. Those 2 strategies attack above premium better than anything else and we have been successful. And we now have the brands and the strategy to implement internationally. We have a nascent international business that will be in profit in 2016. It is currently in investment mode.

Add to that the fact that we will generate cost savings, sustainable cost savings, over a long period, 5 years and the fact that we will generate cash not only sufficient enough to pay down debt but much more importantly, to be in a position to use that cash creatively in the near term of the 5 years and then I think you have a very compelling mix, as far as the business is concerned. It is our business as a management team to execute against that and we're confident we will do so.

In summary, that's where we are as a business. That's why we believe this business is poised for growth and we know the growth is the fundamental for decent shareholder return.

With that, I'd like to open it up for Q&A.

Question-and-Answer Session

Peter S. Swinburn

Some housekeeping rules, thank you. We are webcasting this. So if you do have a question, can you put your hands up so we can get a mic to you. Thanks a lot.

Unknown Analyst

Couple of questions on innovation and then a follow-up for Gavin. If you look at the innovation across all your markets, your line extending means your brands, I think in every market except the U.S., can you just talk sort of the why that's the strategy. And then also in innovation, how you're preventing cannibalization in terms of shelf space, et cetera. And then just for Gavin, the cost savings, is that going on currently? So in other words, you're delivering whatever $50 million, $60 million of cost savings in 2013?

Peter S. Swinburn

Gavin, do you want to take it...

Gavin Hattersley

I'll take the last question. From a cost savings point of view, yes, that $40 million to $60 million per year for the next 5 years has already started. And obviously for the next 2 to 3 years, it will the top end of that. So yes. I think I actually the first few...

Peter S. Swinburn

Yes, I'm sorry. We couldn't...

Gavin Hattersley

We couldn't really hear you because the mic was not working properly.

Peter S. Swinburn

Yes, the mic was not working properly. Can we try it again?

Unknown Analyst

So the question is, your line extending your major brands in most markets, with the exception of the U.S., can you talk about what's the strategy there, why aren't you in the U.S. versus sort of acceptable I guess in other markets. And then what are you doing to prevent cannibalization in terms of shelf space as you're coming out with all of the new brands?

Peter S. Swinburn

Okay, so let me -- I'll take the first bit and I'll pass the specific U.S. bit over to Tom. I mean, I think we're doing both to be honest with you. I mean there's 3 areas really in terms of our innovation platform. One is packaging innovation and all packaging innovation is going to reinforce the brand proposition. So if you tell consumers that Coors Light is about Rocky Mountain cold refreshment, you give them a cold activated bottle, that really gives them a reason to believe. So you reinforce the brand proposition. I think with all of our packaging, we always try and do that. In terms of line extensions, we are line extending elsewhere. We inherited a lot of that in Central Europe. We've not done it so far in the U.S., but we did line extend Coors Light in Canada, where we had Coors Light Iced T. In terms of the display and the feature, Tom, do want to take that specifically for the U.S.?

Tom Long

Sure. So line extensions in the United States are just a function of what our opportunities were. If you look at the open fields of play in the U.S. and what was growing, F&Bs were growing, we went into a pure play called Redd's Apple Ale, which is much less densely competed territory and has been successful. The same thing with Third Shift. We didn't line extend there because there was an ad box being created across the country in the 100 to 120 index brands, which Anheuser-Busch had Platinum, they had Sapphire, they had Bud Light Lime, they had [indiscernible] and we didn't have a competitor other than Foster's. So big volume there, an already established place to play. And so we thought that the higher volume opportunity was there. You must recall of course Coors has been line extended, it's called Coors Light.

Bryan D. Spillane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Bryan Spillane from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Just a couple of questions, I guess, related to PAC. The first would be, just, is that now going to be factored into management goals, and management compensation, is that being integrated into that? The second would be, just what the weighted average, what the capital charge is, what you're charging yourself for the capital. And then the third, just relative to the cost savings component, if you could talk a little bit about the $1.1 billion of savings that you've generated since 2005, I think, how much of that got reinvested back in the business? How much of it just got eaten up by your commodities rebased. I mean there was lot of bad stuff that happened in that timeframe. So just trying to get a sense for just how much went to the bottom line, how much reinvested, how much just ate up the bad stuff, to get an idea of how that compares with how you're expecting it going forward. And, I guess, connected to that, if we're looking at pretax income in the consistent growth there, do we expect the savings and the reinvestment to accelerate that growth? Or is this part of a plan to kind of keep that growth consistent. Sorry for the laundry list there.

Peter S. Swinburn

Okay. Look. Let me try and take the first 1, knock that one off. Short answer is yes. We have a modified along the management LTIP, that takes into account, takes TSR into account against the S&P 500. So I can give you more information on that, but the short answer is yes. So that's in the -- in terms of capital charge, I know Gavin will probably correct me, but basically, we adjust that depending on what we're looking at. So obviously each circumstance we would have a much higher discount rate, for example, doing something in here that we would be doing something in the U.S., so that does vary depending on what we're looking at. Gavin can give you the detail on that. In terms of ongoing investments, again, Gavin can correct me, but it's actually really difficult on a year-by-year basis because some years COGS are higher than other, some years, you've got more investment than others. So there's so many things you've got to take into account. It's really difficult to give you a steer on that. What we have tried to do, in this presentation, is to say it's 40% to 60% higher end of that in the first couple of years, it's going to be 5 years. So there's a consistency. There's a commitment. And against that, there will be a delivery. Gavin, do you want to take the sort of allocation a bit more and correct me where I went wrong?

Gavin Hattersley

From a PAC point of view, Bryan, just to add to what Peter said was we have PAC in our goals, not just in a composition point of view, but also in terms of a roll out point of view across a wide variety -- a wide range of our senior managers. It's becoming -- the way we talk about things. So it's becoming fairly broad amongst the senior leadership and will cascade it down and I'm sure it will become increasing part of composition going forward. From a PAC point of view, Peter is absolutely right. From an overall Molson Coors point of view, we're in the range of about 6% from a WACC basis, but the target rate that we would use for an investment in India or China, for example, would be substantially higher than that. So it really is just on a country by country basis, taking into account the -- I mean, you know how WACC's calculated by country. So we use the same methodology from a target point of view. From a cost savings point of view, Peter's right. I mean it's hard to buy a business unit to give you specific breakdown of what fell to the bottom line. I mean if you just look at MillerCoors' performance over the first 5 years of its existence, a fair chunk of that synergy in cost savings did fall to the bottom line. Some of it was offset by inflationary increases and it's quite difficult to give you a one big broad Molson Coors number. I'm not going to give you a pretax steer going forward. So I'll just reiterate what Peter said, it's a balance.

Bryan D. Spillane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

I guess, what I was trying to drive at was just there's $200 million to $300 million of savings that we all now have to think about, right, in terms of the way -- in terms of building our models and I'm just trying to understand what we do with it. Does it accelerate the growth? Should this be part of if we had a steady growth algorithm? Does it -- I don't -- I'm not even looking for what the percentage growth should be, but does it -- is it the same growth, is it more growth? Does it help drive more top line growth?

Gavin Hattersley

Yes and yes. I would...

Peter S. Swinburn

Yes, to be honest with you, Bryan, I think our job is to get the cost savings out and your job is to do whatever model you want to do.

John A. Faucher - JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division

John Faucher with JPMorgan. The European business had a better quarter in the first quarter, than I think some of us were expecting. So can you talk a little bit about what was going on there? How much of that is sort of 12 months with the -- or close to 12 months with the brands under your belt, versus maybe seeing some economic performance improving there? And then, to follow-up quickly on Bryan's question, I guess, at the bottom of that slide, with the $40 million to $60 million you said, substantial amount reinvested. So substantial, again, is that sort of -- should we plan on that? Is that 75% to 80%? And can you talk about the regions where you think you got the best opportunity for incremental investment going forward?

Peter S. Swinburn

Okay. So I'll let Mark and Gavin, again, add to both to them. But I think, in terms of the first part of the question, certainly, the position in Europe wasn't driven by improved consumer demand. We believe that will happen over the course over the next 5 years, but certainly, we're not seeing it at the moment. We did do quite a bit of cleanup. As I said, we didn't undertake the restocking in the end of 2012. That actually affected us. So that was a benefit to us in the first quarter. And also, as I said, we have increased the marketing spend in the Eastern Europe, specifically behind Staropramen. So that's helped us well. Mark can give you more detail. So Mark, do you want to do that first?

Mark Saks

Yes. I think it's fair to say, as we got into the first quarter, we had 6 months understanding of the business, having gotten to say that from June of 2012 and probably 2 or 3 things came together that I think gave us a lot of confidence for our ability to continue to drive the business from a growth perspective and as Peter mentioned, certainly, the operating context hasn't improved significantly. So GDPs continued to be pretty anemic, benign. Although over the, let's call it 2 to 5-year timeline, we expect those to start to improve gradually. The important things that we did were, firstly, stabilize our Hungarian and our Romanian business and we spent a lot of time in those businesses and fundamentally changed the leadership teams and put in place a very focused and simplified plan and as we've started this year, those businesses have hit their numbers period after period. So that's kind of dealing with a challenge that we had when we went to the business. Our big markets are growing share and our big markets with biggest brands are growing share and to drive that, we've significantly increased our sales and marketing spend across the Central European businesses. So we've seen Croatia, Czech and Bulgaria, really important markets for us, move forward very materially in the first few months of the year. And importantly, we've seen the U.K. business get back into growth and that growth come from its biggest brands and its come from our above-premium portfolio and a number of the brands were mentioned, but every one of our above-premium brands was in growth through the first quarter. So Cobra, Sharp's, Doom Bar, and actually, some breaking news, Doom Bar has now just actually taken the #1 position in the U.K. in the on-premise and cask ale when we acquired the brand, I think it was #11. So we've seen a dramatic acceleration of that brand's relevance and performance. And Coors Light continues to grow very strongly. So stabilized a couple of markets that are problematic, increased our sales and marketing spend and our big market is really driven very hard for share growth and major brand growth as well, while a real focus on our above-premium portfolio. The good news is the margin profile of the business is absolutely rock solid, costs are very well-managed. We're seeing pricing growth coming through and we're outperforming the market from a volume perspective. So I think we've started this year in very solid shape and we will continue to deliver against the relatively small list of real priorities across all of the markets in Europe.

Peter S. Swinburn

I'll let Gavin answer the second part for you John.

Gavin Hattersley

So, John, I think the best way for me to answer that question is by pointing to the past. I mean what I was trying to show you is that we are -- we have delivered a strong and steady growing EBITDA. We've delivered a strong and growing underlying pretax income. We managed all the levers of our income statement. And we've achieved that growth in a time when we have had to overcome challenges on input cost inflation. We've achieved it while we've been investing behind our brands, particularly in the above-premium area and what I think I was trying to say to Bryan is we manage our income statement, all the levers of the income statement. So the cost savings program will be invested behind some of the growth driving initiatives that Peter took you through from an innovation point of view and from a core brand support point of view, which will ultimately drive the top line. So I can't give you an answer specifically around what percentage will be reinvested because we manage all elements of our profit and loss.

Mark D. Swartzberg - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

Mark Swartzberg, Stifel, Nicolaus. Two questions. I guess, first, on the joint venture, did you say you're not going to be giving specific cost savings targets for that in the future? And if so, what's the line of thinking? And if not, can you speak at least to how you're thinking about the opportunity there? And maybe it's just a next week thing. So, MillerCoors kind of cost saving logic. And then #2 you gave us an update back in -- with the quarter, regarding performance in April in each of your major markets. Canada was disappointing for the quarter, disappointing in April. So can you just speak to -- is there anything -- whether it's a May update or not, can you just speak to how you're feeling about the outlook for Canada in light of what we've seen year-to-date.

Peter S. Swinburn

I'll let Gavin do the first part. I don't think we can give you an update on Canada because there's no publicly available information. All I can lead you towards is the publicly available information in the U.S. and you would've seen that the weather has not been great in the U.S. and the subsequent sales generally has not been good. So I don't think we can help on Canada until the end of the second quarter. Do you want to take the first...

Gavin Hattersley

I think on the MillerCoors JV market, I mean, we made the call last year not to publicly announce cost savings programs. I think the steer that you get from MillerCoors is around margin, medium margin guidance, I have given that in the past. But yes, you're right, we don't plan to have a cost savings target announcement in MillerCoors and the numbers I announced exclude MillerCoors.

Mark D. Swartzberg - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., Research Division

So as you said, that's not news per se, but you could choose to put specific numbers out there and when you benchmark the business versus some obvious peers, there seems to be a pretty sizable opportunity. So why are you -- and when you speak in percentage margin terms, as multiple variables there besides structural cost cutting. So can you just speak -- this seems like a good opportunity to speak to the logic behind not being more concrete?

Peter S. Swinburn

I mean, Mark, that might be a question you should more appropriately address at MillerCoors Investor Meeting, which is next week. So I'll point that to my successor.

Judy E. Hong - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Judy Hong from Goldman Sachs. Peter, your closing statement was focused on really the management's aspiration to deliver the best growth that you can and I just wanted to understand, from your perspective, how do you sort of define what that means? Do you look at market share gains? Is it volume versus dollar sales growth, do you need M&A to kind of achieve that growth and how do you think about the cost of achieving that growth aspiration, whether it's a P&L investment or capital investments? And particularly in the context of just thinking about capital allocation, clearly, you're into debt mode right now, but over time, as you deliver strong cash flow generation in the context of your stock trading at 12.5x earnings or so, how do you think about share buyback versus really investing to drive that growth and the cost and the timing of achieving that growth?

Peter S. Swinburn

Okay. So I wouldn't expect anything seismic in terms of investment. I think what we are going to look at in terms of the innovation program in particular, that will take up more money in certain years. It really depends what programs we have, but I wouldn't expect it to be anything that's life threatening because what you get is the benefit of innovation, the cohort effect coming through. So to some extent, that should be self funding. And above-premium, I think we've got a very strong position to be honest with you, I think what we've done in the United States is repeatable, it is scalable and where we've taped it elsewhere, it seems to be working. We would look at small infills. So if the right opportunity came up to buy a brand that fits into the above-premium as we've done with Creemore, as we've done with Doom Bar, again, our experience of that is that it has given exceptionally good returns, but only if the right brand comes up and we're talking of relatively limited number here. So I don't see a great use of capital for any of that. Again on the innovation front, it's sort of chopping and tailing maybe in some of the breweries in terms of what we need to do with our lines, but again nothing that what would be significant. So I don't really see a great capital call from that perspective, from the brand development perspective. Neither do I see a great -- an undue revenue poll. As Gavin has said, as we get the cost savings out, we will want to use more from our brands. And by definition, growth -- there's no such thing as a free lunch. If we are going to grow our brands, we're going to invest behind our brands and take them internationally. That does cost money, but equally, as I say, the cohort effect has come through over the period of 5 years. In terms of how we manage our money, once we've paid down debt, the same rule applies has always applied. I think Gavin laid that out, well look at where we think we can get the best shareholder return. In terms of straightforward cash back to shareholders I think we would have a biased to lean into dividends before buybacks, but really that's a decision that the Board would have to make, whenever we're in a position to make a clear -- take a clear view on that.

Judy E. Hong - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

And then my second question is really for Gavin. So the $40 million to $60 million per year doesn't seem very sizable in the context of the $50 million that's already included as the synergy number from StarBev and in the context of your margins being significantly lower than your peers and that gap has been widening. So, I guess, I'm just curious, as you think about Canada, I guess, more focused on Canada, what are some of the structural reasons why you can't achieve much better margins, perhaps more quickly or even over time and some of the buckets of cost savings that you've laid out seem a little bit more incremental in nature, standardization and so forth. So aren't there any bigger opportunities out there that you can really close the gap more quickly and more aggressively?

Peter S. Swinburn

So let me take the headline and Gavin can deal with the detail. Obviously, when you look at the difference between our major competitors and our major -- our major competitor and major markets, they have a big -- there's big differences at the margin level. We can take you through that, I'm happy to do so. The absolute addressable differences are relatively small, relatively small, but there are differences that we can address. And certainly, in Canada still is on process of doing that, but I wouldn't -- I would not use the straight apples and pears comparison. For example, I'll give you one example, in Canada, we have something like 120-ish people in our finance function, Labatt [indiscernible], but they have over 90 people in Central America and Northern America supporting Labatt. That does not go in to that cost base and I can go on and on. So when you get to the absolute addressable difference, then it is not that huge. The biggest difference in Canada, by far, is the fact that most of our above-premium brands, our partner brands, whereas there's about owned and gain that gives a huge difference. So, there is a difference, we acknowledge that, but it's nothing like as significant as you would -- it seems on the surface.

Gavin Hattersley

Judy, I wouldn't necessarily agree with you that a $40 million to $60 million cost savings on a sustainable basis for at least 5 years is small, it comes on the back of the $700 million just coming out of MillerCoors -- sorry, not MillerCoors, Molson Coors, alone. So we think it's a meaningful cost reduction program. As I've said, it's higher in the first 2 to 3 years because of the fact that it includes the synergies. So we think we can make a meaningful difference from a cost point of view. We think it's sustainable and at this point, we're saying at least 5 years.

Vivien Azer - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Vivien Azer from Citigroup. I was curious about the comment on innovation and your 3-year pipeline, without tipping your hand. Could you speak to the balance between packaging innovation versus liquid innovation? And specifically, is it line extensions versus more new brands like a batch 19 and how you think about that because obviously the gross profit contribution is going to be vastly different.

Peter S. Swinburn

Yes, all of the above. I mean, all I would say is that if you go back probably 3 years, then we would have had a mix that would've lent -- would have probably start at 80% of what we did was packaging innovation and 20% new product, with relatively little line extension. If you were to take a cut now, I think you'd probably find it's more 40% packaging and 60% new product line extension and I think for the foreseeable future, it's -- that's going to be the sort of mix because I think we've down very well, i think, it's been acknowledged we've done well with packaging innovation. We know how to do that, we'll continue to do it. It doesn't always been the premium pricing that you want. New product innovation is much more difficult, but it does bring the margin line extension, I guess, is the safe ground, certainly in the short term. I think on the other side of the coin, we need to prove that when we do line extend, that it is sustainable and it's not just a flash in the pan, and that's why we're very strong in our belief that any line extension you do really have to fit into the core brand proposition because if it doesn't, I think consumers have 2 to 3 years to really sniff it out. And doing that is not always easy.

Vivien Azer - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

As a follow-up to that, is there anything about kind of the consumer landscape and in particular the competitive landscape, even more so, I guess, that's driving that shift to liquid as well. I mean does packaging innovation really move the needle as much, given how much more crowded this space is?

Peter S. Swinburn

I think there were 2 things. The first one is that we did packaging innovation and we know how to do that and because we were doing packaging innovation, we sort of ignored the product innovation. And leaning into that at the same time, I think other players in the alcohol space were actually expanding their categories and doing well by offering different forms of either, could be higher alcohol, but more often, flavors. And flavors are a big play and we've been [indiscernible] as an industry in terms of getting into that space. Getting into that space has allowed us, a, to attract consumers, but also to bring people in from outside the franchise. If you look at, it varies, brand by brand or product or product, but if you look at anything from a range of Coors Light Iced T to Staropramen Lemon to Carling Zest, then generally what you find is 40% to 60% of the consumers come from the outside of the franchise. So what we're doing is we're not cannibalizing. We're improving our margins and increasing the size of the category and that actually makes it much easier than just trying to steal from anybody else within the category.

Ian Shackleton - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Ian Shackleton from Nomura. Let's come back on the cost savings, and Gavin if you can give us a little bit of a help with some of the buckets that are in there. And I guess, 3 years, it looks like we're talking about 150 million to 180 million for 5 years, 200 million to 300 million. Within that obviously the StarBev, 50 million. But can you help us a little bit with the other buckets that are within that?

Gavin Hattersley

Sure. It's going to vary year-by-year, I would say. So I'm not going to specifically give you a steer in any one particular year, but what I would say to you is over the life of our cost savings initiatives, they will probably lean more towards cost of goods sold production related savings than G&A. That's probably the most helpful I'm going to be able to get for you, Ian.

Ian Shackleton - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Could you just clarify as well, this figure of 8 million per annum you mentioned, I think it was related to IT moves, I mean is that a $40 million benefit over 5 years? Or how should we think about that?

Gavin Hattersley

Well, no. I mean it would be a -- it's not cumulative. What I'm saying is in the first year that we've got that program up and running, IT costs will go down by $8 million and they will stay there.

Ian Shackleton - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

Okay, so it's a one-off. And, I mean, can you give us a...

Gavin Hattersley

Yes -- well not necessarily one-off, because it's a sustaining saving going forward, but it's not an $8 million per year for $40 million of the $200 million to $300 million I'm talking about, if that makes sense.

Ian Shackleton - Nomura Securities Co. Ltd., Research Division

And obviously when we think about Canada, awfully terrible there. How important is Canada really? Is that half of what we're talking about?

Gavin Hattersley

Let me give you specifics, Ian, I did, in my remarks, say that Canada and the U.K. were an important component of that. So they both have significant importance. Some of their big operations in our world from a cost of goods sold point of view. So we're not going to break it down at this point by country or territory.

Bryan D. Spillane - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Again, it's Bryan Spillane from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Just 2 follow up questions. And maybe you answered this in response to Judy's question, but I may have missed this, just M&A, how you are thinking about consolidating industry and you have a bigger balance sheet now. You've successfully made a few acquisitions over the years, so just how you were thinking about the bigger landscape once you get your leverage ratios in a more comfortable zone? And also just going back to PAC, does that include -- how does that account for M&A? If you do a deal, if you were to do a deal at some point in the future, do the PAC targets include or would they exclude M&A?

Gavin Hattersley

The PAC targets will exclude. If we did M&A, we would have to add it on and the target would become more stretching.

Peter S. Swinburn

In terms of the first part of the question, to be honest with you, we're trying to avoid it, but we're so focused on reducing debt. It's going to take us 2 years to be in any position to think seriously about anything else and the landscape will have changed so much in that period of time. The one thing that I'm actually saying to everyone in Molson Coors is don't waste your time. So yes, we know what's out there. We'll see what the landscape looks like in 2 years, but again, I mean we've tried to be as honest as possible within this area. If the right opportunity comes up and we think it's right for the business and we think it will give us the returns that we demand, then we'll look at something seriously, but it's not -- we're not desperate to get back out there and start acquiring again. It will really depend on what's out there and how we can use the cash alternatively.

Robert E. Ottenstein - ISI Group Inc., Research Division

Robert Ottenstein, ISI. Just staying on the M&A for a little bit, just sort of theoretically. If we were to look out a few years, do you think your percentage of MillerCoors will go up from the 42 or down from that? It's one question and the other one is as you kind of stood back over kind of the drama for the last 4 or 5 months between ABI and Constellation, the DOJ and I'm sure you read all the documents and looked at all the different numbers and what was going on in California, et cetera. Any surprises, anything you learn from that and any implications in terms of your ability to do acquisitions in the U.S. I mean there was obviously very stringent guidelines and perhaps, limits on ABI doing anything, any implications for you further down the line on that score?

Peter S. Swinburn

As far as the first part of the question is concerned there is no reason currently to believe that our mix in MillerCoors 42%, 58% will be any different in 3, 4 years time than it is now. So, first part. In terms of the second part, as long as we remain with 42% of MillerCoors then we would think it would be extremely difficult for us to do anything sizable within the U.S. market, irrespective of what went on with Constellation. But, Tom, I don't know, do you want to add anything to that?

Tom Long

I think the change in competitive dynamics in the U.S. with the Constellation acquisition remain to be seen. They're a good competitor today. They're likely to be one in the future. They've got a quite a steep learning curve to go through. We'll see how it plays out.

Peter S. Swinburn

Are there any more questions from anybody? Okay, well thanks very much for your attention. Thanks for the questions. And for those of you who can make it, there some beer and some appetizers in the room opposite. Thanks very much.

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