Molson Coors has warned that its volumes and earnings fell during the fourth quarter of 2005.

The world's fifth-largest brewer said yesterday (16 January) that, although it had yet to finalise its figures for the three-month period to the end of December last year, it was disclosing the guidance in connection with its sale of a majority stake in Kaiser.

Molson Coors said it expected sales-to-retail to have dipped by up to 1.5%. Sales in Canada were "virtually unchanged", the company said, although its Coors Light brand had continued to grow at a "double-digit rate".

The company said sales-to-retailers - or depletions - in the US had inched up by 1%, driven by growing Coors Light sales. Sales in Europe were expected to have fallen by 3.5%, while in Brazil, Kaiser's sales were estimated to have fallen by around 7%.