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Bottles of Cott ginger ale move down the bottling line a the company's plant in Mississauga

Soft drink bottler Cott Corp. reports its net profit fell to $12-million (U.S.) or 14 cents a share in the first quarter from $20-million or 28 cents last year.

Revenue fell 1.1 per cent to $363-million, mainly because of currency exchange effects.

The Toronto company says the earnings decline reflected an income tax expense of $4-million in the first quarter, reversing an income tax benefit of $6-million a year ago.

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Cott supplies private branded soft drinks to major retailers. Last year it lost the its exclusive deal with Wal-Mart to be the supplier of store-brand pop to the world's biggest retailer.

The company said at the time that it would wind down the exclusivity deal over three years, and that it represented nearly 40 per cent of its overall business.

However, the company still supplies numerous other retail giants including Loblaw, Costco, Metro Inc. and convenience chain 7-Eleven Inc.

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