US beer, wine and spirits producer Constellation Brands has reported net sales of $8.1bn, representing a 7% increase for the financial year 2019.

Net sales of Constellation’s beer brands increased by 11.6% for the year, with the Corona brand family shipment volume reaching 150 million cases and the Modelo brand family reaching 125 million cases.

Wine and spirits net sales decreased by 2.9% for the end of the financial year, with $2,913.9m compared with the previous year of $2,919.9m.

Constellation Brands signed an agreement with E. & J. Gallo Winery days before releasing its results to sell a portion of wine and spirits business for approximately $1.7bn subject to closing adjustments.

President and chief executive officer Bill Newlands said: “We’ve positioned our wine and spirits business for success with our announced plans to sell a portion of the business, which enables us to continue to strategically focus on our powerhouse, high-margin and high-growth brands. During fiscal 2019, our beer business delivered industry-leading double-digit sales and operating income growth led by our powerful, high-end brands and successful consumer-led innovation.

“Overall we’re confident in our ability to drive top-line growth of mid-to-high single digits over the next three to five years across our entire business.”

Chief financial officer David Klein added: “In fiscal 2019, we generated record operating cash flow of more than $2.2bn which enabled a return of more than $1bn to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases.

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“In fact 2020, we remain committed to increasing our quarterly dividend. Longer term, we expect the powerful cash generation capability of our core business to enable significant cash returns to shareholders of $4.5bn in the form of share repurchases and dividends over the next three fiscal years.”

The company expects net beer sales and operating income growth to increase by 7% to 9% for the upcoming financial year. But they are expecting a decline of 25-30% for net sales in the wine and spirits sector with operating income to fall by 30-35%.