Combined charges dent fiscal '06 income at Cott Corp.

by Staff
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TORONTO — Cott Corp. recorded losses for the year and fourth quarter ended Dec. 30, as combined charges for supplier receivership and plant closings took a chunk out of earnings.

The loss for the year totaled $17,500,000, compared with net income of $24,600,000 in 2005. Income was dented by charges stemming from the closing of two U.S. manufacturing plants and Cott’s U.K. resin supplier going into receivership. The charges totaled $50.8 million in pre-tax costs, or $32.6 million after taxes.

Net revenues for the year totaled $1,771,800,000, up 1% from $1,755,300,000 the previous year.

For the fourth quarter, the company sustained a loss of $29,600,000, compared with a loss of $6,900,000 in the fourth quarter of 2005. Fourth-quarter income also was hurt by the charges related to the supplier receivership and plant closings. The charges totaled $21.2 million in pre-tax costs, or $13.8 million after taxes.

Net revenues for the quarter totaled $400,100,000, up 1% from $397,200,000 in the same period last year.

"Reported earnings were significantly impacted by the planned plant closures, and by the receivership of our U.K. resin supplier which was unexpected and highly disappointing," said Brent Willis, chief executive officer of Cott Corp. "Excluding these costs, our earnings and fundamental performance continue to improve.

"The improvement in our business fundamentals in the fourth quarter of 2006, particularly in cost reduction and core customer partnerships, is encouraging. We have made good progress in improving day-to-day operations, discipline and focus but we still have significant opportunities to improve execution."

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