Molson, Canada's oldest brewer, posted a rise in profits for the second quarter yesterday. The brewer announced an increase for the quarter ended 30 September to C$96.5m (US$73m) from C$82.3m year-on-year. This equates to 75 Canadian cents a share against 64 Canadian cents for the same quarter last year.

Net sales also rose by 4.4% to C$715.6m from C$685.6m, while overall volumes fell by 2.4%. In Canada, the Montreal-based company saw its market share grow by 0.3% to 44.9%, as sales climbed by 5.1% and beer volume rose by 1.1%. Molson attributed sales and volume growth to stronger sales and slightly higher consumer prices in Canada.

The brewer's success in Canada helped to counter a drop in volume in Brazil. As sales rose by 2.3% and market share increased by 0.2% to 12.9% in the South American country, beer volume fell by 8.2%.

In a statement released with the figures, Daniel O'Neill, president and chief executive, said: "As a result of the softening of the (Brazilian) industry… year-over-year volume growth may be difficult to achieve in the third quarter."

O'Neill predicted, however, that future volume prospects should improve as Molson's Brazilian unit, Kaiser, is in the process of deploying its own sales force across the country.

In the US, Molson's volumes grew by 8.6% thanks to the success of the Molson Canadian brand.