Cott widens loss during quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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TORONTO — Volume decline in the carbonated soft drink category, heavy promotional activity, poor weather in the United Kingdom and Canada, and operating problems in the international business all contributed to a wider third-quarter loss for Cott Corp.

For the quarter ended Sept. 27, the company suffered a loss of $87.6 million, which compared with a loss of $5.8 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

Revenue for the quarter was $420.5 million, down 9% from $464.5 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"We were encouraged that in North America, our largest segment and biggest operating challenge this year, improving sales mix helped us close the quarter slightly ahead of our internal volume and revenue targets," said David Gibbons, interim chief executive officer. "This trend continued in October with the majority of our customers tracking better than we had expected. Improving volume trends and expanding product and customer bases are encouraging factors while we wait for our recently announced price increases to take effect in the first quarter of 2009."

For the nine months ended Sept. 27, the company had a loss of $110.7 million, compared with income of $3.7 million during the same period of the previous year. Revenue for the nine months was $1,276.7 million, down 6% from $1,363.2 million during the same period of the previous year.

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