CANADA: Molson reaffirms commitment to profit and share growth

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At its Annual General Meeting, Molson Inc. reaffirmed its commitment to profitable growth and market share growth of its strategic brands as the Company continues the reinvention of its Canadian and US brewing operations and a return to its brewing roots.

Incoming President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Daniel J. O'Neill said, "Our continued focus during the last year on reducing costs while growing profit and market share allowed us to deliver brewing operating profit growth of 15.1%, more than double last year's level, as well as market share growth for the first time in almost a decade."

In his final address as President and Chief Executive Officer of Molson Inc., Mr. James Arnett said, "After three years of repositioning, divestment and reinvention, Molson is well on its way to fulfilling its commitments to shareholders. I am proud to have played a role in the return of Molson to its brewing roots and in helping to position the Company for future growth."

Molson also announced that after a thorough review and validation of the Company's Sports and Entertainment business by senior management and the Board of Directors, and in keeping with Molson's strategy to focus on its core brewing business, Molson has decided to sell a controlling interest of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club and the Molson Centre. This decision was made in order to maximize shareholder value; to maximize the value of the hockey team and the Molson Centre and allow for a redeployment of capital to the brewing operations; and strengthen Molson's balance sheet and free cash flow allowing the Company to pursue growth opportunities. In addition, in keeping with its commitment to its fans and to helping build a winning, competitive hockey club, Molson will remain the primary corporate partner of the team for a period of at least 20 years, a commitment valued in excess of $150 million.

Thanking his management team for their efforts, Mr. Eric Molson, Chairman of the Board of Molson Inc. said, "What has been accomplished in this last year is nothing short of remarkable, but we still have a long way to go. However, thanks to the exceptional contributions of our dedicated employees, Molson is on track to becoming a world class global brewing company."

Molson's operating results for fiscal year 2000 reflect the Company's focus on developing and executing new operating strategies for the Canadian and US brewing units, identifying initiatives to reduce operating costs by $120 million and raising brewing operating profit. Following on its commitment to "reinvent" itself, the Company achieved a number of clearly defined goals with the aim of becoming a more efficient and competitive operating company, while creating sustainable shareholder value in the process. The four-fold foundation for Molson's reinvention remains: aligning the interests of employees with shareholders, operating strategically, reducing the cost base while improving productivity and growing globally.

Montreal-based Molson (TSE: MOL.A), founded in 1786, is Canada's pre- eminent brewer with more than $2 billion in annual sales. As North America's oldest beer brand name, Molson has been providing consumers with quality beers for over 214 years.

Companies: Molson Coors

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