CORONA, CALIF. – Less foot traffic at convenience stores due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hindered Monster Beverage Corp. during the early weeks of its second quarter, ended June 30. But increased demand from grocery, club stores, mass merchandisers and e-commerce softened the blow as the quarter continued.

Net income for the quarter was $311 million, equal to 59¢ per share on the common stock, up 6.5% when compared to the same period of the previous year.

Quarterly sales were $1 billion vs. $1.1 billion the year prior.

“Since mid-March 2020, the company has seen a shift in consumer channel preferences and package configurations, including an increase in at-home consumption and a decrease in immediate consumption,” said Rodney Cyril Sacks, chairman and chief executive officer, during an Aug. 5 conference call to discuss results. “Our sales in the second quarter were initially adversely affected as a result of a decrease in foot traffic in the convenience and gas channel, which is our largest channel, but improved sequentially throughout the quarter.

“Our e-commerce, club store, mass merchandiser and grocery and related business continued to increase in the quarter while our foodservice on-premise business, which is a small channel for us, remains challenged.”

Operating income was $407 million, up from $379 million in the second quarter of 2019, due in part to lower sponsorship and endorsement costs of $19.8 million as well as lower travel and entertainment expenses of $10.1 million, according to the company.

Demand for energy products remained steady, according to data cited during the call from the market research company Nielsen. For the 13 weeks through July 18, for all outlets combined, including convenience, grocery, drug, mass merchandisers, sales in dollars in the energy drink category, including energy shots, increased by 7.6% versus the same period a year ago, Mr. Sacks said. Sales of Monster’s brands were up 6% during the period.

A distribution channel with new strength during the quarter was e-commerce. For the four-week period ended July 18, dollar sales in the energy category by Amazon, including energy shots, increased 190% over the same period the previous year, according to data from Stackline.

“Sales of Monster increased 269.4% and its share was 39.5%, up 8.5 share points versus the same period a year ago,” Mr. Sacks said.

Management did not provide guidance, and Mr. Sacks emphasized the future impact of the pandemic on Monster’s business may be severe.

“The COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious concern,” he said. “If the COVID-19 pandemic and related and favorable economic conditions continue to intensify, the negative impact on our sales, including our new product innovation launches, could be prolonged and may become more severe.”