Molson Coors has reported a 28% rise in net income for its third quarter.

Molson said today (5 November) that net earnings for the thirteen weeks ended 28 September hit US$173m. Underlying net profit after tax for the period crept up to $176m, from $173m in the same quarter last year.

Global beer volumes increased 7.4% on a reported basis, to 12m hectolitres.

Molson said that it continued to place a strong emphasis on cost savings. It said it had achieved approximately $19m in cost reductions during the quarter, as part of its three-year $250m Resources for Growth (RFG) programme. The company said it was on target to achieve its 2008 goal of $77m of additional RFG cost savings.

Coors Brewers faced a mixed quarter in the UK market. Sales to retailers fell 3% during the quarter, reflecting a general decline on the country's beer market, however Coors said it had gained market share during the period.

In Canada, sales to retailers grew by 3.7%, while the new MillerCoors business in the US achieved 0.7% growth. MillerCoors is the joint venture created by Molson and SABMiller.

Peter Swinburn, Molson president and CEO, said he was pleased with the results, considering the challenging economic conditions. "We gained market share in both Canada and the UK during the quarter, and we initiated the integration of two US beer businesses into MillerCoors, a strong and competitive brewer with the talent, brands and scale to win in the US."