Molson has lowered its outlook for the fiscal 2004. The brewer blames its Brazilian investments for the announcement.

The Canadian brewer said yesterday that earnings before interest and taxation will be between C$512m (US$395m) and C$520m, or flat to 2% growth. The original forecast was for 14.5% growth in 2004.

On the subject of the third quarter, Molson said it expects earnings before interest and taxation to be between C$112m and C$115m, a fall of between 7% and 5% year-on-year. In November last year, Daniel O'Neill, president and chief executive, warned: "As a result of the softening of the (Brazilian) industry… year-over-year volume growth may be difficult to achieve in the third quarter."

The company said that its Brazilian unit, Kaiser, was taking longer with the revamping of its sales force than expected, and consequently its profit contribution has been delayed by six months.

Molson expects to make double digit growth in 2005, however.