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USA: Cott Corp predicts 2001 earnings growth of over 30%

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Soft drink giant, Cott Corporation, has recently announced performance expectations for 2001 and according to CEO Frank E Weise, Cott has a very bright future indeed.

Cott expects earnings to grow between 30%-35% with shares hitting US$0.49 to US$0.51 each.

The margin increase is attributed to increased volume, favourable mix, manufacturing efficiencies and cost cutting schemes.

Cott believes it can increase case volume 10%-12% by building on existing retailer brand share, product line extensions, including purified drinking water and energy drinks.

Weise said 2001 would be the year for double-digit growth, something Cott has not accomplished since the early 1990s.

In a statement he said: "We are looking for sales to grow in the range of 10%-15%, as we make the strategic shift from turnaround to growth, while continuing to focus on our core business."

Despite the glowing results Cott has licked its wounds from injuries acquired in the late 1990s, where its stock was trading at a rock bottom $3.35 in 1999 from $47 in 1993.

Former CEO, Dave Nichol expanded Cott into the frozen foods and pet food market, which failed miserably. Then a price war between Pepsi and Coke simply left Cott in the dust, but the company now believes times are changing.


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