BUSINESS
11/09/2012 12:28 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2012

Molson Coors Sales Down In Canada Following NHL Lockout

Sales of Molson Coors flagship beer brands in Canada have dropped in the two months following the NHL lockout, CEO Peter Swinburn told the Canadian Press Wednesday.

"Whether it's people not actually physically going to the venues and consuming there, consuming in venues around the outlet [bars] before that, or indeed having NHL sort of parties at home, all of those occasions have disappeared off the map and you just can't replicate them," Swinburn said.

The absence of Canada's national sport has particularly hurt sales of Coors Light and Molson Canadian. Swinburn said the company will seek compensation from the league once the labor dispute ends.

Despite the drop in sales in Canada, Miller Coors profits rose slightly compared to last year due to the first full quarter of operations at newly acquired Central European brewer StarBev and improved results in the United States, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Overall, Molson Coors reported a profit of $198.4 million, up from $197.4 million last year. Excluding acquisition-related costs and other impacts, earnings rose to $1.37 from $1.14.

However, the decrease in hockey-related sales, coupled with increased operating costs, could make for a tough fourth quarter for the Denver- and Montreal-based brewer.

With no hockey so far this season, the bizarre heist of 600 barrels of maple syrup in October and a global bacon shortage looming, it's been a tough few months for Canadians.

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