UPDATE 1-Beverage maker Cott reports dip in revenue, margin

Wed May 1, 2013 12:43pm EDT
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* First-quarter revenue falls 4 pct

* Filled beverage case volumes dip 5 pct

* Shares fall as much as 11 pct (Adds details, shares)

May 1 (Reuters) - Canadian soft drink maker Cott Corp reported a fall in its first-quarter revenue and margins as it exited some of its businesses in North America and lost market share, sending its shares down as much as 11 percent.

The company, which was also hit by what it called a general market decline in the North American carbonated soft drink market, said revenue fell 4 percent to $505.4 million in the quarter ended March.

Filled beverage case volumes fell 5 percent to 193 million cases.

Gross margin for the company, which owns brands such as Red Rain and Vess, fell to 11.2 percent from 12.1 percent as fixed costs rose as a percentage of total sales.

"For several previous quarters, Cott has been able to offset weaker-than-anticipated topline with strong gross margin expansion, which was not the case this quarter," JP Morgan analyst John Faucher said in a note to clients.

Cott's shares have risen 35 percent this year, while the broader S&P/TSE Canadian Consumer Staples Index has risen 8 percent during the same period.   Continued...