Cott blamed bad weather for a poor H1

Cott blamed bad weather for a poor H1

Cott Corp's CEO has said last month's improved UK weather gave its soft drinks portfolio in the country a 15% volumes boost.

Jerry Fowden told investors in a conference call yesterday (1 August) that the UK “has finally experienced some good weather”, with "top-line performance" also gaining 15%. Cott yesterday blamed a dip in second-quarter sales and volumes on bad weather in the UK and North America.

Fowden said the sales drop was one-third weather-related, but showed optimism for the second half of the year because of a weather turnaround, especially in the UK.

Temperatures in the country last month reached their highest of the year so far, with only five Julys in the past 100 being warmer, according to reports

Cott is also on track with new a new cost-saving plan that aims to save the company US$6m a year, Fowden said. The plan, announced in June, “consists primarily of SG&A (selling general and administrative expenses) staff reductions across all corporate and business unit locations”, Fowden said without giving details of how many jobs will go. The cuts are expected to take place in the third quarter, he said.

Fowden said pressure on the CSD category in the US has “slightly increased” in the second quarter. “We see that as an environment that will be maintained,” he added.

Other soft drinks makers have forecast continuing difficulties for CSDs in the US, with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyo saying in May that the category has just three years to win back US consumers.