(Corrects Molson's ranking to fifth-largest brewer, not
third-largest, paragraph 5)
* Q3 adjusted EPS $1.14 vs analysts' view $0.98
* Beer volume down 2.9 pct
* Worldwide Coors Light volumes down slightly
* Shares fall 3 percent
(Recasts, adds details on quarterly performance,
CHICAGO, Nov 4 Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N)
reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit,
helped by cost cuts and price increases, but volumes fell as
the beer industry sees a slowdown in consumer spending.
The results echoed reports by MillerCoors, Molson's U.S.
joint venture with SABMiller Plc (SAB.L), and by Carlsberg
(CARLb.CO), the fourth-biggest brewer. Shares of Molson Coors
fell 3 percent.
Carlsberg beat analysts' profit expectations on Wednesday
but trimmed its 2009 sales outlook and forecast an "equally
challenging" 2010, and its shares fell 5.4 percent
Like all discretionary consumer products, sales of beer
have been impacted by the slowdown in consumer spending.
However, its relatively low price has made it more resilient
than other products.
The world's fifth-largest brewer has been promoting its
brands, such as Coors Light and Molson Canadian, raising prices
and keeping a tight lid on costs to offset a dip in volume and
unfavorable foreign currency fluctuations.
Molson Coors plans spend more to promote its beers in its
Canadian, U.S. and international businesses in the current
fourth quarter, President and Chief Executive Peter Swinburn
said in a statement.
The brewer, whose other beers include Blue Moon, earned
$235.3 million, or $1.26 per share, in the third quarter that
ended Sept. 26, up from $171.3 million, or 92 cents per share,
a year earlier.
Adjusted earnings per share of $1.14 topped analysts'
average forecast of 98 cents, according to Thomson Reuters
At Molson Coors, sales excluding excise taxes fell 7.3
percent to $853.7 million, ahead of analysts' forecast of $837
million. Total worldwide beer volume declined 2.9 percent.
Sales of Coors Light, by volume, fell slightly after the
brand saw strong growth a year earlier.
Overall, volume dipped in Canada, the MillerCoors business
in the United States and in Britain. The small international
markets segment saw volume jump 27.7 percent, driven by Coors
Light in China and Carling in Europe.
Earlier on Wednesday, MillerCoors reported a 28.1 percent
increase in net income, as cost savings and price increases
offset a dip in sales volume. The U.S. venture said domestic
sales to wholesalers slipped 0.7 percent. Sales from
wholesalers to retailers -- a better gauge of consumer demand
-- fell 1.3 percent. [ID:nL3640079]
The MillerCoors venture blamed a low single-digit decline
in sales volume of its premium light beers, including Miller
Lite and Coors Light, and a double-digit decline of its
higher-end brands, which include Miller Chill and Killian's
MillerCoors' least expensive beers, including Keystone
Light and Miller High Life, saw a low single-digit increase in
sales. Molson Coors has a 42 percent stake in MillerCoors.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago, with additional
reporting by Martinne Geller in New York and David Jones in
London, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)