UPDATE 3-Molson Coors warns of challenge ahead; shares fall

Wed Nov 7, 2012 12:23pm EST
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* 3rd-qtr profit $1.37/share vs Street view $1.34

* Sees fourth quarter as most challenging period of 2012

* Shares fall 3.7 percent in midday trading

By Martinne Geller

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Molson Coors Brewing Co warned on Wednesday that the current quarter would be the most challenging of the year, with higher costs, increased spending and weak economic conditions, and the beer maker's shares fell 3.7 percent.

The share decline outpaced that of the wider market, which was down more than 2 percent a day after the re-election of President Barack Obama. Comments by the European Central Bank president weighed on market sentiment.

Molson, the company behind beers such as Coors Light and Blue Moon, said consumer demand for beer across its businesses declined in the third quarter.

The Central European business that the brewer acquired earlier this year, which makes Staropramen beer, saw volume fall due to lower demand, particularly in September.

In the current fourth quarter, Molson said it expects difficult comparisons with year-ago results in some regions, as well as higher ingredient costs in Central Europe and significantly higher "marketing and business transformation costs" in the United States designed to improve information systems and business processes.   Continued...