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Coors CFO is "cautiously optimistic" on pricing.

In a conference call with analysts, Coors chief financial officer Tim Wolf said he is "cautiously optimistic" on beer prices for 2001. Coors CEO Leo Kiely noted that the company's increases in domestic pricing during 2000 had "no significant impact" on volume, as the brewer's unit volume grew four times faster than the U.S. beer industry as a whole.

Kiely reported 23 million barrels sold in the 53 weeks ending December 31st, an increase of 4.5% over the 22 million barrels sold in the 52 weeks ended Dec. 31st, 1999. Without the extra week in fiscal 2000, Coors' volume increase was 4.1%.

Kiely said that the apparent slowdown at the U.S. economy has not showed up in the beer numbers. "We don't see anything that shows an economic slowdown impact in the beer business," he said.

Kiely pointed to good growth in Canada and the closure of the company's Spanish operation as boosts to performance, but noted that the fourth quarter of 2000 was soft due to the cold winter.

The Coors CEO predicted another strong year for the Coors Light brand, which contributed an estimated 16.8 million barrels of the company's 23 million barrels sold. "I think it will be another exciting year for Coors Light," Mr. Kiely said.
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Title Annotation:Tim Wolf
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 26, 2001
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