The Canadian brewer Molson has said that today that it is increasing the target of its current Canadian cost savings program from C$100m to C$125m. These cost savings will be in addition to the previous C$150m delivered by Project 150 in the Fiscal 2000 - 2003 timeframe.

A plan to cut C$150m from the business's running costs was put in place after the 2000 financial results and the plans for the new cuts were announced at an investor presentation in Toronto.

"In Fiscal 2000, we launched Project 100 thinking it was an ambitious program. As we made progress, we discovered new opportunities in our overall Canadian operations that made the program evolve into Project 150. The first cost savings program is now behind us, and with the operation improvements implemented during that period, we are confident in our ability to continue to deliver additional savings," said Daniel J. O'Neill, president and chief executive officer of Molson.

"As a result, the target of the second C$100m cost savings program announced in March of last year will be increased to C$125m for the Fiscal '04 to '06 period. Now billed as Project 125, this program aims to align Molson's cost structure with those of the "best in class" global brewers as documented in an extensive global brewing benchmark study completed last year."

In its last full financial year, which ended March 31, 2002, Molson earned $177 million on revenue of $2.1 billion. But in its quarterly results for the three months ended Dec. 31, the company said sales volumes had fallen and its market share had eroded slightly in Canada.

But the company said on Friday that it is on target to reach operating growth of 14.5% for fiscal 2003.

"We feel really comfortable about the 14.5% target," said O'Neill.