Molson Coors, the Canada-based brewer, has reported double digit growth in net earnings in the third quarter of 2009.

Net earnings for the three months to the end of September rose by 37% to US$235.3m, up from $171.3m in the same period of 2008 and boosted by both synergies and improved profitability in the brewer's UK business, Molson Coors said today (4 November).

Shares in the group rose by 3% immediately following the announcement after earnings beat analysts' expectations.

Global beer sales by volume fell 3% for the quarter, to 13.8m hectolitres, due to tough global economic conditions and a strategy to put value over volume in the UK market, said the group.

Molson Coors' net sales slipped to US$853.7m for the quarter, against $921m last year.

Earlier today, MillerCoors, the US brewing venture of Molson Coors and SABMiller, reported a 3% rise in net sales and profits up by more than a fifth for the third quarter.

Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn said: "Molson Coors had a successful third quarter, with underlying earnings up more than 22% versus a year ago.

"This headline profit includes some non-operating and one-time noise, both positive and negative. Excluding these factors, earnings grew approximately 13% in the quarter."

For the first nine months of the year, Molson Coors net earnings rose to $498m, compared to $285m last year.

For the full announcement, click here.

An update will appear here, following the brewer's conference call.