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CANADA/US: Cliffstar dents Cott Corp Q3 profits, lifts sales

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Cott Corporation's acquisition of juice firm Cliffstar Corp has dented the company's profits in the third quarter of 2010, but the deal helped significantly inflate the firm's soft drinks sales in the period.

Cliffstar added US$80m to Cott Corp's net sales in the three months to the end of September. Its contribution accounted for the bulk of Cott Corp's 21% rise in sales for the quarter, to US$490.6m.

However, charges associated with the $500m Cliffstar deal caused Cott Corp's net profits to fall by 36% on the same period of last year, to $9.7m. Operating profits fell by nearly 14% to $23.2m.

The private-label soft drinks specialist said that, excluding Cliffstar charges, operating profits rose by 36%.

Cott Corp's CEO, Jerry Fowden, said: "I am pleased that our third quarter saw core Cott volume growth of 4% in North America, ongoing cost savings on underlying SG&A and most importantly, the closing of our acquisition of Cliffstar."

"New business wins and a more modest national brand promotional environment drove higher volumes in North America," he added. Sports drinks sales in the UK also performed well for the group.  

In the firm's outlook, Fowden said: "Our efforts to integrate Cliffstar are proceeding according to plan and we remain confident in our synergy targets and goals to drive cash generation and debt reduction."

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For the full announcement, click here.


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