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    MolsonCoors Profit Drops in Fourth Quarter

    Commodity prices, lower sales and stronger dollar impact brewer.

    NEW YORK -- Molson Coors Brewing Co. attributed a stronger dollar, high commodity prices, and lower sales in the U.S. and Canada of Miller Lite and other brands as factors that led to lower profit in the brewer's fourth quarter, The Associated Press reported.

    "Our lower fourth-quarter financial results reflect the combined challenges of a much stronger U.S. dollar vs. a year ago, significant commodity inflation and lower sales volume in our major markets," Chief Executive Peter Swinburn said in a statement cited by the AP. He added exchange rates accounted for more than half of the decline in profit, and excluding these effects, profit fell 7 percent.

    For the quarter ended Dec. 28, profit at Molson Coors fell 44 percent to $96.8 million, from $173.2 million a year earlier, the AP reported. In addition, profit from continuing operations fell 49 percent to $90.7 million, which excluded a gain from discontinued operations.

    Meanwhile, sales fell 49 percent to $1.10 billion, from $2.17 billion, excluding sales from the joint venture MillerCoors. Results for the U.S. -- which include the company's 42 percent share of net income from MillerCoors -- saw a rise in adjusted profit that helped by higher prices, the AP reported.

    MillerCoors' net income fell 40 percent, but when excluding charges related to the joint venture and changes to its Sparks alcohol beverage, profit climbed to $135 million from $116 million in the comparable quarter.

    MillerCoors sales to retailers fell roughly 2 percent, reflecting sales softening of Miller Lite and some "above-premium" brands, the report stated.

    Blue Moon, MGD 64 and Keystone Light all reported strong sales.

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