The combined U.S. operations of SABMiller Plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co with brands such as Miller Lite and Coors Light, said underlying net income in the October-December quarter was $106.1 million with net sales dipping 1.6 percent to $1.71 billion.
It's tough out there, and we saw the effect of ongoing economic pressure and unemployment on beer sales, especially in the fourth quarter, said MillerCoors CEO Leo Kiely in a results statement.
The brewer said marketing and administration costs fell by 2.7 percent in the quarter and would have been around 6 percent when excluding the significant impact of increased share-based salary bonus schemes which were driven by a strong SABMiller stock price over 2009.
The company, formed in July 2008, has said it expects to make $750 million of cost savings over the first 4-1/2 years of its merger to end-2012. At the end of 2009, cumulative cost savings had reached $272 million.
The brewer has a U.S. beer market share of nearly 30 percent behind Budweiser-brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev share of around 50 percent.
Molson Coors, with operations in the U.S., Canada and Britain, is due to report later on Tuesday.
(Reporting by David Jones)