The US brewer Adolph Coors Company today that for third quarter 2002, the company achieved consolidated net sales of US$1.0 billion, a 57.8% increase over last year. Third quarter sales volumes totalled 8,407,000 barrels, a 42.4% increase on last year as the gains made by the acquisition of Coors Brewers Limited the business it acquired from Interbrew in February.

The company reported third quarter net income of US$46.6m, up 19.8% on a year ago. Excluding special items and gains on the sale of distributorships reported a year ago, third quarter 2002 after-tax income was up 32.4% from a year earlier.

Peter H. Coors, chairman of Coors Brewing Company (CBC), said: "Despite volume challenges in our major markets early in the third quarter, our company's performance during the quarter was encouraging, with improving volume and cost trends in our US business and solid growth of our core brands in our Europe segment. The US pricing environment remains positive, and our UK business continues to contribute to a stronger Coors Brewing Company. Year to date, we're continuing to make progress on both sides of the Atlantic with solid marketing and sales programs, productivity improvements, significant cash generation and debt reduction."

W. Leo Kiely III, CBC president and chief executive officer, said: "In our Americas segment, we are pleased that our new advertising creative and promotions in the U.S. are gaining traction with beer drinkers, especially within the key 21-to-25-year-old demographic. In fact, our beer sales to retail in the U.S. -- excluding Zima -- increased 3.6 percent in the third quarter. Meanwhile, our sales in Puerto Rico declined significantly in the third quarter, driven by a substantial increase in beer excise taxes there in June. In the United Kingdom, off-premise sales in the first few weeks of the third quarter were particularly slow because of competitor discounting during and after World Cup events, but our U.K. business regained solid sales momentum later in the quarter."