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Snow Makes Bad Quarter Worse for Coors

The company's profit is negligible as shipments sag.

Things aren't so golden in Golden.

Despite a rise in revenue, Colorado brewer

Adolph Coors


posted a big drop in first-quarter profit, saying a loss at a U.K.-based business and lower Americas shipments to wholesalers hurt earnings.

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For the quarter ended March 30, the company earned $800,000, or 2 cents a share, compared with $27.2 million, or 75 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2002. Analysts were expecting 24 cents a share.

"The first quarter of this year was even tougher than we thought it would be," said W. Leo Kiely III, chief executive. The company also cited higher interest and pension expense for the decline in profit during the quarter.

Additionally, Peter H. Coors, company chairman, said: "Because of a major snowstorm in Colorado late in the quarter, the impact of lower shipments was significantly greater than anticipated. For our U.K. business, negative customer, channel and brand mix shifts impacted first-quarter results more than expected."

Revenue was up 11% to $828 million. The company said sales volume increased 6.3%. Higher net sales and volume in the quarter were primarily attributable to an additional five weeks of results this year from the Coors Brewers Ltd. business, which was purchased on Feb. 2, 2002, the company said.

Despite the weak earnings, investors bid the stock up 40 cents, to $49.87.