The world's largest producer of own-brand soft drinks Cott Corporation has negotiated with its chairman, president and chief executive officer Frank E. Weise, to remove the end date of his contract that had been set for June 30, 2003. According to the company, Weise intends to continue in his current position.

"Frank's performance at the Cott helm has been remarkable," said Serge Gouin, Cott's lead independent director, "Over the last four years, he has positioned Cott as a solid force in the industry. Frank has earned the respect of shareowners, customers and employees."

Weise said: "The journey at Cott has been extremely rewarding. Credit belongs to all the men and women of Cott and specifically to our strong management team. Together, this leadership group has grown in strength and demonstrated a winning stamina as we have moved from 'turnaround' to a 'growth' strategy."

Separately, Weise said that the company continues on track to achieve 2002 earnings of $0.79 - $0.81 per diluted share in line with previous guidance. Sales growth of 8-10% continue to be expected, with EBITDA at about US$160m and capital spending of approximately US$45m.
Final results for the year will be announced on January 30, 2003.

Looking ahead to next year, Weise stated that Cott expects sales for 2003 to grow 9-11%, net income to be up approximately 15%, EBITDA of about US$185m, and earnings per diluted share in the range of $0.90 - $0.92. Capital spending of US$50m is anticipated.