November 6, 2008 / 1:43 PM / in 9 years

UPDATE 2-Cott shares plunge in wake of larger loss

(Recasts with stock drop, adds details; in U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Shares of soft-drink maker Cott Corp (BCB.TO) fell almost 20 percent on Thursday, after the company said its quarterly loss ballooned because of writedowns and lower sales.

Cott, the world’s largest maker of private-label soft drinks, posted a net loss of $87.6 million, or $1.25 a share, compared with a loss of $5.8 million, or 8 cents a share, in the same period last year.

The latest result included $95.8 million in goodwill and other asset impairment charges, Cott said.

Revenue fell 9.5 percent to $420.5 million from $464.5 million.

The company blamed continued volume declines for the poor results. It also cited “previously disclosed operating issues in our international business.”

Investors dumped Cott shares after the results were released, driving the stock lower by 28 Canadian cents, or 17.7 percent, to C$1.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Mississauga, Ontario-based Cott is attempting to turn itself around by returning its focus to its private-label soft drinks after expanding into higher-profit energy drinks, teas and vitamin-enriched water. (Reporting by Scott Anderson and Wojtek Dabrowski, editing by Rob Wilson)

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