Canadian Vending

Products Beverages
Soft drink company suffers loss


April 28, 2008
By Canadian Vending

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Apr 28, 2008, TORONTO – Troubled soft-drink maker Cott Corp. posted a
first quarter loss of $20.7 million, reversing a year-ago profit of
$4.8 million as sales dipped 2.6 per cent.

Apr 28, 2008, TORONTO – Troubled soft-drink maker Cott Corp. posted a first quarter loss of $20.7 million, reversing a year-ago profit of $4.8 million as sales dipped 2.6 per cent.

The loss amounted to 29 cents per share, compared to a profit of seven cents per share in the same period last year.

First quarter revenues were $389.7 million, down from $400.2 million the year before, due primarily to case volume decline in North America and RC International.

The loss was partially offset by price increases implemented during 2007 and International beverage case volume growth.

Selling, general and administrative expenses were up $15.3 million or 40.6 per cent to $53 million from $37.7 million in the prior year. The increase included $8 million of executive transition costs and $1.3 million of foreign exchange effects.

Cott has been struggling to maintain its private-label soft-drink dominance in a world of changing tastes, higher costs and intense big-brand competition.

In the last two months, the company also received notice it was losing some of its shelf space and merchandising support at Wal-Mart, its biggest customer.

The company's new CEO said earlier this month that new products, bottled water and cost reductions will help the company boost profitability.

“Despite our pricing efforts, earnings did not meet expectations, and the turnaround process in the U.S. is taking longer than expected,''interim CEO David Gibbons, who replaced Brent Willis as chief executive on an interim basis on March 24, said Monday.

“The board of directors has made some tough but necessary changes that our disappointing results called for; we must improve our execution to accelerate the turnaround of the U.S. business.''

Cott is the world's largest producer of store-branded soft drinks for groceries and other retailers in its core markets of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Mexico.


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