* Company rolling out Coors Light Iced Tea, Carling Zest
* Sees less reliance on cost-cutting for profit growth
* Sees int'l unit contributing to volume, profit growth by
* Shares close down 3 percent
By Martinne Geller
March 6 Molson Coors Brewing Co
said on Tuesday it will launch Coors Light Iced Tea and other
new products, as the beer company fights to win a greater share
of the struggling beer market.
Molson executives said during a meeting with analysts that
the new products should help spur sales so the company can put
less reliance on cost-cutting to drive its profit. It also seeks
to make beer more attractive to people who have moved on to wine
"Someone else is eating our lunch in the alcohol space,"
Molson Coors Chief Executive Peter Swinburn said at the meeting,
which was broadcast over the Internet.
Coors Light Iced Tea will go on sale first in Canada, where
consumers are interested in flavored beers and other refreshing
drinks, Molson executives said. They did not, however, rule out
an expansion into the United States.
Other new products include Carling Zest, a limited-time-only
beer with citrus flavors and an autumn-inspired Leinenkugels
Molson Coors, which is aggressively pursuing the market for
craft beers through its Tenth and Blake unit, said its new craft
beer Batch 19, is performing better than it expected. With
additional roll-outs planned for April, the new beer should be
available in over 40 U.S. markets by fall, the company said.
Molson, whose core brands include Molson Canadian, Coors
Light and Blue Moon, said it will spend more this year on
marketing, given its new products.
Molson shares closed down $1.29, or 3 percent, at $42.04 on
the New York Stock Exchange. The Dow Jones Industrial average
index closed down 1.6 percent.
Unlike its larger rivals Anheuser-Busch InBev and
SABMiller, which have large businesses in developing and
emerging markets, Molson's sales are concentrated in the mature
markets of Canada, Britain and the United States.
But the company said on Tuesday it wants to accelerate
growth in developing markets. It will also focus on China,
Russia, India and Ukraine, and on the beers Coors Light, Carling
At present, Molson's international division accounts for
about 3 percent of its worldwide volume, but the company said
its goal is for that unit to become a "significant contributor"
to sales volume and profit growth by 2015.
Last month, Molson reported fourth-quarter profit that blew
past Wall Street estimates, as price increases, cost savings and
an extra selling week helped offset weak sales volume.