The agreement by MillerCoors to halt production of its Sparks caffeinated-alcoholic drink last December significantly contributed to a 40-percent drop in the company's fourth-quarter net income, CNN reported Feb. 10.
The company reported net income of $54.1 million, down from $90.7 million a year earlier. However, despite the $65-million write-down on Sparks — which had been the dominant caffeinated alcoholic beverage on the market — the company reported a 16.5-percent rise in earnings thanks to price increases that made up for lower sales volume.
MillerCoors agreed to remove caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from Sparks products under a settlement with more than a dozen state attorneys general. The company continues to market the beverage, however, and expressed confidence that sales would continue to rise.
The firm's fourth-quarter net sales rose 3.1 percent, to $1.74 billion.