Cott earnings up as strategies bring positives results

by Staff
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TORONTO — Third-quarter income at Cott Corp. showed significant improvement in the quarter, despite weakness in the North American carbonated soft drinks category.

Net income for the period ended Sept. 30 was $6.6 million, equal to 9c per share on the common stock, a significant improvement compared with a loss of $1.8 million in the same period last year.

Net sales for the quarter rose 1%, totaling $475.5 million, compared with $469.9 million in the third quarter of 2005.

Sales in the company’s North America division fell 5%, mostly due to volume softness in the carbonated soft drink category.

In the company’s International segment, revenue grew 28%, driven by the U.K. and Mexico.

The company sees improved results on the horizon, as implementation of its growth strategies, such as cost reduction, program expansion and restructuring initiatives, enhance overall business performance.

"Our third-quarter performance suffered due to weakness in the North American C.S.D. category and other factors," said Brent Willis, chief executive officer of Cott. "As we’ve said before, the top line will take time to turn around. The impact of our expansion programs to new channels, segments and customers will not be immediate but we are making good progress in cost reduction and the processes necessary to remake Cott into a highly disciplined, high performance organization."

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