US: Cott Corp sees North America slump as YTD profits fall

By | 31 October 2013

  • YTD net profits down 34% to US$32.4m
  • Net sales down 13% to $1.61bn
  • Operating profits down 21% to $73.7m
  • Q3 profits down 16% to $13.3m
  • Q3 volumes down 7.5%
Cott Corp has seen volumes drops in North America

Cott Corp has seen volumes drops in North America

Cott Corp's year-to-date profits have dropped by a third as its Q3 volumes in the US suffered from an overall industry decline.

Net profits in the nine months to 28 September fell by 34% to US$32.4m, the soft drinks maker said today (31 October). Net sales were down 13% to $1.61bn over the same period and operating profits dropped by 21% to $73.7m.

Q3 profits plunged by 16% to $13.3m while net sales in the three-month period dropped by 7% to $543.2m. Operating profits in Q3 were down by 9% to $26m.

YTD overall volumes fell by 9%, but while UK volumes remained stable, North American volumes dropped by 11%.

Cott blamed the “general market decline” in the CSD category and “prolonged aggressive promotional activity” from rival brands in the US for the North America slump.

Cott CEO Jerry Fowden said the third quarter “provided a sequential improvement in performance trends and strong cash flows, despite prolonged aggressive national brand promotional activity that ran through the majority of the quarter”.

The results will be particularly disappointing for Fowden, having said after H1 results, released in August, that better times were ahead for his company. Cott blamed bad weather as well as an underperforming market for a first half in which net profits fell by 47% and sales dipped by 7%.

Cott Corp shares were up 2% as of EDT13:10 today.

To read the official company statement, click here.

Expert analysis

Cott Corporation in Soft Drinks (World)

Cott is the world’s largest supplier of private label products in soft drinks. Its primary strength is North America, however it has faced a challenging environment particularly in carbonates as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo engage in aggressive discounting to counter weak market demand. Opportunities in emerging markets exist however and could be exploited by Cott.

Sectors: Company results, Soft drinks

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