Cott income eases in quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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TORONTO — Weakness in North American carbonated soft drinks and higher commodity costs negatively impacted recent financial results at Cott Corp. during the second quarter, said Brent Willis, chief executive officer.

Net income in the second quarter ended June 30 was $4.7 million, equal to 7c per share on the common stock, down 4% from $7.6 million, or 11c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year.

Revenue was $498.4 million, down narrowly from $502 million during the same quarter of 2006.

"We are disappointed in the second quarter, but we have taken the right actions for full-year performance, including price increases across customers in North America and Mexico, additional headcount and cost reduction initiatives, and the right investments in sales, marketing, distribution and our international business," Mr. Willis said.

The North American segment suffered a $7 million loss during the quarter, which compared with operating income of $12.9 during the same quarter of the previous year. Revenue in North America was $364.5 million, down 5% from $384.9 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"Execution of our new product and new channel expansion is progressing well, and we are strengthening our retailer partnerships with the recently announced creation of customer development and solutions teams in our North American business," Mr. Willis said. "We expect these teams to accelerate the positive indicators we are already seeing in increased promotional activity with many of our top 10 customers."

The International segment had operating income of $13.2 million, up 31% compared with operating income of $10.1 million during the same quarter of 2006. Revenue for the segment was $133.9 million, up 14% from $117.1 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

For the six months ended June 30, overall net income was $9.5 million, or 13c per share, a 73% increase compared with a net income of $5.5 million, or 8c per share, during the same period of 2006. Revenue for the period was $898.7 million, nearly flat compared with $896.2 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

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