UPDATE 2-Higher tax bill, weak Canada sales hit Molson Coors profit
* Fourth-quarter adj earnings $0.69/shr vs est $0.64/shr
* Fourth-quarter revenue $1.03 bln vs est $1.07 bln
* StarBev buy helps boost sales
* Canada volumes fall 12 percent
By Siddharth Cavale
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Molson Coors Brewing Co reported a 28 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit as its tax bill more than doubled and beer sales slumped in Canada, its top market.
While total beer volumes rose about 15 percent, helped by the company's acquisition of central European beer maker StarBev in June, volumes in Canada fell nearly 12 percent.
Molson's Canadian business, which accounted for about half its fourth-quarter revenue of $1.03 billion, was hit by a 20 percent rise in beer excise tax rates in Quebec and the National Hockey League lockout.
The brewer, known for its Molson Canadian and Miller Coors beers, said sales-to-retail (STRs) in Canada fell 7 percent. Continued...