Cott warns of full-year profit shortfall

by Staff
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NEW YORK — Beverage supplier Cott Corp. on Wednesday warned that its yearly earnings will be "substantially" below earlier estimates because of shrinking U.S. soda demand and higher raw-material costs.

"The entire soft drink industry is dealing with the impact of rising PET costs," said John Sheppard, president and chief executive. "When we add this to the changes we are seeing in the market and our ongoing operational challenges, we expected a substantial impact on our full-year results."

Cott, based in Toronto, withdrew its previous guidance and did not provide a revised outlook while it reviews initiatives aimed at covering cost increases and improving efficiency.

In July, the company forecast annual earnings of $1.01 to $1.06 per share on sales of $1.74 billion to $1.77 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.03 per share on $1.79 billion in sales.

The company earned $1.09 per share and had sales of $1.65 billion in 2004.

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