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US: Dr Pepper Snapple warns court ruling may hit profits

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) has said that the outcome of an age discrimination legal case in the US could affect 2011 profits.

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Late last week, a jury in California sided in favour of six plaintiffs, ordering DPSG to pay out US$18.3m. The case was originally filed in 2009 against Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group, which is now the American Bottling Co and a subsidiary of DPSG.

The soft drinks group has warned that the ruling could cause it to miss full-year profits guidance. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week, DPSG said that it plans to appeal the decision, but it has been forced to set aside cash to cover the damages in case it loses.

"As the company's 2011 full-year diluted earnings per share guidance did not anticipate this event, the company's reported 2011 full year diluted earnings per share could be less than EPS guidance," DPSG said. In October, the company stood by its forecast for full-year EPS of between $2.7 and $2.78.


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