Molson Coors Q3 profit disappoints

Wed Nov 2, 2011 10:17am EDT
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By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) - Molson Coors Brewing Co (TAP.N: Quote) posted its fourth straight quarter of weaker-than-expected earnings on Wednesday as the struggling economy had an effect on beer sales, sending its shares down more than 3 percent.

The maker of Coors Light, Molson Canadian and Blue Moon beers said net income fell to $197.4 million, or $1.06 per share in the third quarter, from $256.1 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were $1.14 per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting $1.25, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose to $954.4 million from $875.0 million.

Worldwide beer volume slid 0.8 percent to 13.1 million hectoliters.

"We continued to face high unemployment among core beer consumers, lower volume and significant commodity inflation," Molson Coors Chief Executive Officer Peter Swinburn said.

The company also incurred higher marketing expenses in the United States, he added, while demand in bars and restaurants in Britain was unexpectedly weak.

Earlier on Wednesday, MillerCoors, the combined U.S. operations of SABMiller Plc SAB.L and Molson Coors, which is the second-largest brewer in the United States, said its third-quarter net income fell 14 percent while sales fell 2.5 percent.   Continued...