Corona owner Constellation Brands has posted better-than-expected sales in the fourth quarter with net income up more than double from $461.9m (£328.4m) to $928.8m on net sales up 8.5% from $1.6bn to $1.8bn.

The latest quarter brings full-year net income to 28 February to $2.3bn, up from $1.5bn the previous year. Net sales are up from $7.3bn to $7.6bn.

The company said its beer portfolio was the number one growth contributor to the US beer market. All import brands achieved record volumes, it said.

The fourth quarter saw the launch of new six and 12-pack, 12-oz Corona Familiar bottle packages in regionally expanded markets. The brand claimed a position among the top-10 high-end beer share gainers along with Modelo Especial, Modelo Chelada Tamarindo Picante and Pacifico.

Now Corona Premier is set for a nationwide launch during the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, with TV advertising support planned for the first half of the year.

“Execution of our Total Beverage Alcohol premiumisation strategy for fiscal 2018 produced best-in-class EPS growth of almost 30% as we continued to grow overall market share and improve margins across the business,” said Constellation CEO Rob Sands.

It also completed significant operational expansion milestones at its Nava brewery and glass plant in Mexico.

“We expect to capitalise on this momentum, as we are targeting impressive sales and earnings growth for the coming year,” Sands added.