Cott lowers full-year guidance

by Staff
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TORONTO — As the result of higher-than-anticipated industry volume declines in key markets, increased promotional activity by national brands and commodity costs not being offset in the short term by growth and cost-cutting initiatives, Cott Corp. is lowering its 2007 earnings outlook.

"2007 has been one of the most challenging years in Cott’s history," said Frank Weise, chairman. "While the actions the company has taken to drive the turnaround are on strategy and progressing, the short-term results have been undermined by significant declines in the C.S.D. category in North America, unprecedented cost increased and executional challenges."

Brent Willis, chief executive officer, said the company expects year-over-year revenue growth to be flat and operating income to be substantially lower than 2006. The company had previously predicted annual operating income growth to be between 12% and 15%.

"Although we have closed manufacturing facilities and cut significant other costs, begun expansion of new products, new channels and new markets, and taken significant pricing, these actions have not been sufficient to offset the negative environment impacts and some of our own internal execution and new product start-up challenges," Mr. Willis said.

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