The Canadian soft drinks producer, Cott Corp., the largest supplier of own label soft drinks in the world, has posted earnings of C$10.5m, or 15 cents a diluted share, for the quarter to March 29, against a loss of C$46.8m in the corresponding period last year which was subject to a C$44.8m goodwill charge.

Sales increased by 18% from C$250.0m to C$295.3m. The company attributed the strong performance, ahead of most analysts' forecasts, to strong growth in the US.

Cott has raised its earnings forecast for the full 2003 fiscal year from between 90 cents and 92 cents to between 93 cents and 96 cents. Sales are now forecast to increase by between 10% and 12%. Previously the company had been predicting a 9% to 11% rise in turnover for 2003.