Cott reports Q1 results



    
    -   Reported earnings per share of $0.07, compared to a loss of $0.03 per
        share in Q1 2006

    -   Gross margin of 13.4% shows consistent performance with prior year
        first quarter

    -   International business unit delivers strong quarter with 31.8% volume
        growth and 25.6% revenue growth over prior year first quarter

                      (All information in U.S. dollars)
    

    TORONTO, April 26 /CNW/ - Cott Corporation (NYSE:  COT; TSX:BCB), the
world's largest retailer brand soft drink provider, announced today its
results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007.

    FIRST QUARTER CONSOLIDATED RESULTS

    First quarter volume was 317.8 million eight-ounce equivalent cases, up
7.7% compared to the first quarter of 2006. The increase was driven by a 31.8%
increase in the International business unit compared to the prior year first
quarter, the majority of which was Royal Crown concentrate volume growth.
Revenue increased 1.5% in the quarter to $400.2 million, compared to
$394.2 million in the first quarter of the prior fiscal year. Excluding the
impact of foreign exchange, revenue was relatively flat compared to the prior
year first quarter.
    First quarter gross margin was 13.4%, flat compared to the prior year
first quarter. This result reflects the benefits of the Company's recent cost
reduction efforts, which offset commodity cost increases of $16 million above
those of the prior year first quarter.
    Net income and earnings per share returned to profitability in the
quarter at $4.8 million or $0.07 per diluted share, compared to a loss of 
$2.1 million or ($0.03) per diluted share, respectively, in the first quarter
of 2006. As a result of the adoption of FASB Interpretation No. 48 as of the
beginning of 2007, the Company has recorded a charge of $0.8 million in income
tax expense for unrecognized tax benefits.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         1st Quarter Key Indicators
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2007             2006
                                                       ----             ----
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Volume (8oz MM)                                   317.8            295.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revenue ($MM)                             $       400.2    $       394.2
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gross Margin                                      13.4%            13.4%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Restructuring, Assets Impairment &
     Other Charges ($MM)                      $         0.3    $         5.0
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Operating Income ($MM)                    $        15.5    $         7.7
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Reported EPS                              $        0.07    $       (0.03)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

    "The first quarter performance is further evidence that we are taking the
right actions to rebuild Cott's profitability," said Cott Chief Executive
Officer Brent Willis. "Our teams are doing a good job executing against our
objectives and are demonstrating the discipline, focus and commitment required
to deliver against our priorities of cost reduction, customer partnership and
innovation."

    FIRST QUARTER BUSINESS UNIT HIGHLIGHTS

    North American revenue declined 4.9% when compared to the first quarter
of 2006, as a result of overall industry softness and actions the Company has
taken to rationalize underperforming SKUs, product lines and customers. These
actions have had a positive impact on North American gross margin and the
Company plans to continue rationalization of unprofitable products where it
makes sense to do so, despite the potential short-term negative impact on
volume and revenue.
    The International business unit continued to deliver strong revenue
growth, up 25.6% compared to the same period last year. All components of the
business unit, which is comprised of the U.K., Europe, Mexico, and all of
Cott's other international markets combined, contributed strong organic
revenue growth in the quarter.
    "We are beginning to unlock the potential of Cott's international
business," commented Willis. "We're leveraging international expertise across
geographies, and beginning to capture the benefit of the Company's global
functions and resources. Our expansion plans with key global retailers are
progressing well and we look forward to introducing new beverages to new
consumers in targeted international markets," added Willis.

    OTHER FINANCIAL INFORMATION

    Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses declined 5.5% to
$37.7 million, as compared to $39.9 million in last year's first quarter,
despite increased investment in sales and marketing compared to the first
quarter of 2006.
    The first quarter operating income more than doubled to $15.5 million
from $7.7 million in the prior year first quarter. Restructuring charges,
asset impairments and other charges were $0.3 million on a pre-tax basis in
the quarter. This compares to pre-tax charges of $5.0 million in the first
quarter of 2006 which were recorded for the closure of the Ohio plant and
costs associated with the U.K. Competition Commission's review of Cott's
acquisition of Macaw.

    
    PROGRESS IN KEY STRATEGIC AREAS

    Cott continued to make progress in the first quarter in its three key
areas of strategic focus, plus its key organizational enabler:

    1.  Lowest cost producer
    2.  Retailers' best partner
    3.  Innovation pipeline
    +1  High-performance, world class organization

    -   Cott continued to expand market penetration in its four innovation
        focus areas: premium ready-to-drink teas, energy drinks, sports
        drinks, and flavored and enhanced waters. The Company has begun
        distribution of this innovation portfolio in numerous grocery, mass
        merchandise, convenience and gas customers across North America.

    -   The Company's installation of the second aseptic manufacturing line
        in one of Cott's U.K. production facilities proceeded on plan and on
        budget. The additional production line is expected to double the
        Company's aseptic capacity, allowing Cott to respond to the
        increasing demand for preservative-free products in the U.K. and
        Europe.

    -   Two senior management appointments during the quarter strengthened
        the Company's leadership. Juan Figuereo was appointed Chief Financial
        Officer and brings nearly two decades of senior finance experience in
        the snack foods, beverage, and retail industries, most recently as
        Vice-President, Mergers & Acquisitions for Wal-Mart International.
        Bill Reis joined the Company as Chief Procurement Officer bringing 13
        years of procurement experience with the Coca-Cola Company, and most
        recently as Chief Procurement Officer for Revlon.

    -   David T. Gibbons was appointed to Cott's Board of Directors during
        the quarter, adding further strength in finance and diversity of
        executive experience to the Board. Mr. Gibbons is an international
        business executive with global experience in Rubbermaid and 3M who is
        currently Chairman and was recently CEO of the Perrigo Company, a
        publicly-traded manufacturer of retailer brand over-the-counter
        pharmaceutical and nutritional products.
    

    PERFORMANCE AGAINST BUSINESS MODEL

    First quarter results were in line on volume and gross margin, and well
ahead on operating income, against our long-term business targets. Results
were short of the revenue range in the quarter, but as the Company completes
its portfolio rationalization and as it continues to implement its new
product/channel expansion initiatives over the course of the year, it expects
revenue growth to come closer to its long-range targets.
    "We remain confident that there is multi-year growth ahead for Cott,"
added Willis. "As previously communicated, for 2007 we expect volume and
revenue growth to be on the lower end and operating income growth to be on the
upper end of the Company's long-term targets."

    First Quarter Results Conference Call
    -------------------------------------
    Cott Corporation will host a conference call today, Thursday, April 26,
at approximately 1 PM ET to discuss first quarter financial results.
    For those who wish to listen to the presentation, there is a listen-only,
dial-in telephone line, which can be accessed as follows:

    
        North America: (800) 733-7560
        International: (416) 644-3418
    

    Annual and Special Meeting of Shareowners
    -----------------------------------------
    Cott Corporation's Annual and Special Meeting of shareowners will take
place today, Thursday, April 26, 2007 at 8:30 AM ET at St. Andrew's Club and
Conference Centre, 150 King Street West, 27th Floor, St. Andrew's Hall,
Toronto, Ontario.

    Webcast
    -------
    To access Cott's Shareowner Meeting or first quarter conference call with
analysts over the Internet, please visit the Company's website at
http://www.cott.com. Please log on 15 minutes early to register, download, and
install any necessary audio/video software. For those who are unable to access
the live broadcast, a replay of both events will be available at Cott's
website until May 4, 2007.

    About Cott Corporation
    ----------------------
    Cott Corporation is one of the world's largest non-alcoholic beverage
companies and the world's largest retailer brand soft drink company. The
Company commercializes its business in over 60 countries worldwide, with its
principal markets being the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and
Mexico. Cott markets or supplies over 200 retailer and licensed brands, and
Company-owned brands including Cott, RC, Vintage, Vess and So Clear. Its
products include carbonated soft drinks, sparkling and flavored waters, energy
drinks, sports drinks, juices, juice drinks and smoothies, ready-to-drink
teas, and other non-carbonated beverages. The Company's website is
www.cott.com. The brand names and trademarks referenced in this press release
are trademarks of Cott Corporation, its affiliated companies, our customers,
or other third parties.

    Safe Harbor Statements
    ----------------------
    This press release contains or refers to forward-looking statements
reflecting management's current expectations regarding future results of
operations, economic performance, financial condition and achievements of the
Company. The forward-looking statements are based on the assumption that
volume and revenue will be consistent with historical trends, that margins
will improve through a balance of revenue realization and cost containment,
and that interest rates will remain constant and debt levels will decline,
and, in the case of the statements relating to new product introductions and
capacity increases, on management's current plans and estimates. Management
believes these assumptions to be reasonable but there is no assurance that
they will prove to be accurate. Forward-looking statements, specifically those
concerning future performance such as those relating to the success of the
Company's measures to increase volume and revenue, reduce costs and increase
operating income, obtain capacity increases, and introduce new products are
subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ
materially. These risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in
the Company's filings with the appropriate securities commissions, and
include, without limitation, stability of procurement costs for raw and
packaging materials, the Company's ability to restore plant efficiencies and
reduce logistics and other costs, adverse weather conditions, competitive
activities by other brand beverage manufacturers, the Company's ability to
develop new products that appeal to consumer tastes, the Company's ability to
identify acquisition candidates, successfully consummate acquisitions and
integrate acquired businesses into its operations, fluctuations in currency
versus the U.S. dollar, the uncertainties of litigation and regulatory review,
loss of key customers and retailers' continued commitment to their
Company-supplied beverage programs. The foregoing list of factors is not
exhaustive. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise
any forward-looking statements.

    (Financial tables in Exhibits 1-5 attached)

    
    COTT CORPORATION                                               EXHIBIT 1
    CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (LOSS)
    (in millions of US dollars except per share amounts, US GAAP)
    Unaudited


                                               For the three months ended
                                            ---------------------------------
                                             March 31, 2007    April 1, 2006
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    Sales                                     $       400.2    $       394.2
    Cost of sales                                     346.7            341.5
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Gross profit                                       53.5             52.7

    Selling, general and administrative
     expenses                                          37.7             39.9
    Loss on disposal of property,
     plant & equipment                                    -              0.1
    Restructuring, asset impairments and
     other charges
      Restructuring                                     0.3              1.6
      Asset impairments                                   -              1.4
      Other                                               -              2.0
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Operating income                                   15.5              7.7

    Other (income) expense, net                         0.2             (0.2)
    Interest expense, net                               7.8              8.2
    Minority interest                                   0.7              1.0
                                            ----------------  ---------------


    Income (loss) before income taxes                   6.8             (1.3)

    Income tax expense                                  2.0              0.8
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Net income (loss)                         $         4.8    $        (2.1)
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Volume - 8 oz equivalent cases                    317.8            295.0
           - Filled Beverage                          192.9            199.9

    Net income (loss) per common share
      Basic                                   $        0.07    $       (0.03)
      Diluted                                 $        0.07    $       (0.03)

    Weighted average outstanding shares
      Basic                                      71,751,553       71,712,399
      Diluted                                    71,794,871       71,755,031



    COTT CORPORATION                                               EXHIBIT 2
    CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
    (in millions of US dollars, US GAAP)
    Unaudited


                                                For the three months ended
                                            ---------------------------------
                                             March 31, 2007    April 1, 2006
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    Operating Activities
      Net income (loss)                       $         4.8    $        (2.1)
      Depreciation and amortization                    17.9             19.3
      Amortization of financing fees                    0.3              0.3
      Share-based compensation                          2.5              2.7
      Deferred income taxes                             0.2              0.2
      Increase in other income tax liabilities          0.8                -
      Minority interest                                 0.7              1.0
      Loss on disposal of property,
       plant & equipment                                  -              0.1
      Asset impairments                                   -              1.4
      Other non-cash items                              0.3              0.3
      Net change in non-cash working capital          (12.1)           (15.8)
                                            ----------------  ---------------

      Cash provided by operating activities            15.4              7.4
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    Investing Activities

      Additions to property, plant and
       equipment                                      (16.2)            (8.3)
      Additions to intangibles and other assets        (0.4)            (2.4)
      Proceeds from disposal of property,
       plant & equipment                                0.2              0.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------

      Cash used in investing activities               (16.4)           (10.0)
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    Financing Activities

      Payments of long-term debt                       (1.2)            (0.2)
      Short-term borrowings                            (4.2)            (7.0)
      Distributions to subsidiary minority
       shareowner                                      (0.6)            (1.1)
      Other financing activities                       (0.1)            (0.1)
                                            ----------------  ---------------

      Cash used in financing activities                (6.1)            (8.4)
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Effect of exchange rate changes on cash            (0.1)             0.1
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Net decrease in cash                               (7.2)           (10.9)

    Cash, beginning of period                          13.4             21.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Cash, end of period                       $         6.2    $        10.8
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------



    COTT CORPORATION                                               EXHIBIT 3
    CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
    (in millions of US dollars, US GAAP)
     Unaudited

                                                                 December 30,
                                             March 31, 2007             2006
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    ASSETS
    Current assets
    Cash                                      $         6.2    $        13.4
    Accounts receivable                               196.6            187.0
    Income taxes recoverable                           16.3             17.8
    Inventories                                       147.9            131.2
    Prepaid and other expenses                         11.9             10.3
    Deferred income taxes                              12.9             11.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                                      391.8            371.4

    Property, plant and equipment                     364.6            360.2
    Goodwill                                          159.1            158.4
    Intangibles and other assets                      247.8            250.7
    Deferred income taxes                               9.8                -
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                              $     1,173.1    $     1,140.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' EQUITY

    Current liabilities
    Short-term borrowings                     $       103.7    $       107.7
    Current maturities of long-term debt                1.7              2.0
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities          201.0            186.5
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                                      306.4            296.2

    Long-term debt                                    276.7            275.2
    Deferred income taxes                              49.7             48.2
    Other tax liabilities                              31.0             11.5
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                                      663.8            631.1

    Minority interest                                  21.0             20.9

    Shareowners' equity
    Capital stock                                     273.4            273.4
    Restricted shares                                  (0.6)            (0.7)
    Additional paid-in-capital                         27.7             29.8
    Retained earnings                                 169.2            168.7
    Accumulated other comprehensive income             18.6             17.5
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                                      488.3            488.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------

                                              $     1,173.1    $     1,140.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------



    COTT CORPORATION                                               EXHIBIT 4
    SEGMENT INFORMATION
    (in millions of US dollars, US GAAP)
    Unaudited


                                                For the three months ended
                                            ---------------------------------
                                             March 31, 2007    April 1, 2006
                                            ----------------  ---------------
    Sales
      North America                           $       295.6    $       310.9
      International                                   104.6             83.3
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                              $       400.2    $       394.2
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------

    Operating income
      North America                           $        10.6    $         5.0
      International                                     4.9              2.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                              $        15.5    $         7.7
                                            ----------------  ---------------
                                            ----------------  ---------------



    COTT CORPORATION                                               EXHIBIT 5
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION - NON GAAP MEASURES
    (in millions of US dollars)
    Unaudited


    Change in revenue excluding foreign exchange

                                       For the three months ended
                            -------------------------------------------------
                                              March 31, 2007
                            -------------------------------------------------
                                  Cott        North America    International
                            ---------------  ---------------  ---------------
    Change in revenue        $         6.0    $       (15.3)   $        21.3
    Impact of foreign
     exchange                         (6.5)             0.5             (7.0)
                            ---------------  ---------------  ---------------

    Change excluding
     foreign exchange        $        (0.5)   $       (14.8)   $        14.3
                            ---------------  ---------------  ---------------

    Percentage change
     excluding foreign
     exchange                          (0%)             (5%)             16%
                            ---------------  ---------------  ---------------
                            ---------------  ---------------  ---------------
    





For further information:

For further information: COTT CONTACTS: Media Relations, Kerry Morgan,
Tel: (416) 203-5613; Investor Relations, Edmund O'Keeffe, Tel: (416) 203-5617

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COTT CORPORATION

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