Despite what the company described as a "soft beer market" in Canada and Brazil, Canadian brewer Molson exceeded EBIT growth targets, delivering 25% quarterly growth versus last year.
 
The company said that the performance was attributable mainly to the consolidation of Kaiser operations in Brazil, as well as the impact of price increases taken in the last 12 months.

Net sales revenue for the quarter ended June 30, 2002 rose by 21% to C$687m. The rise stems from a 5% increase in revenue from Molson's operations in Canada and the consolidation of Kaiser. Total net sales revenue from operations in Brazil reached C$119m in the first quarter of fiscal 2003, compared to C$23m for the same period last year. Total Molson volume increased by 54% to 5.8 million hectolitres, while volume in Canada decreased by 2.8%, reflecting the overall category decline.

"The focus during the quarter has been on sound operating business fundamentals, especially in the area of cost improvement in Canada and on establishing a solid base from which to build in Brazil," said Daniel J. O'Neill, president and CEO of Molson.

"As a result, our efforts over the last three months have led to an accelerated integration of the Brazil operation." Shifting his attention to the coming months, O'Neill reiterated that, with the prospect of prolonged currency and market volatility, the Corporation's continued strong focus on operational and financial performance will be critical to delivering sustainable long term return to shareholders.