Molson Coors misses estimate on low volumes

Molson Coors Brewing yesterday reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, mainly due to weak volumes across all markets, prompting the beer maker to issue a tepid volume forecast for 2010.

The brewer of Coors Light and Molson Canadian was also weighed down by cost inflation in the United States and Britain.

“Overall consumer demand remains sluggish, and we see these conditions continuing to impact volume and mix in the near term,” Peter Swinburn, Molson Coors president and chief executive officer said.

“Looking to 2010, we expect volume to remain challenging, especially in the first half,” Swinburn added.

Beer’s relatively low price has made it somewhat resilient in the global downturn. But promotions by some wine and spirits brands, as well as price increases on some beers to cover rising commodity costs, has heightened competition.