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Beverage maker Cott returns to profit in 4th qtr.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Beverage maker Cott returned to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by a tax benefit and free of charges.

The company earned $2.3 million, 2 cents per share, in the period ended Dec. 29, compares with a loss of $11.9 million, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.

The current quarter included a tax benefit of about $1 million. The prior-year period included a $1 million tax expense as well as some impairment charges.

Analysts predicted earnings of 6 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue declined 6 percent to $517.2 million from $549.2 million due to lower volumes. Wall Street expected $539.8 million in revenue.

For the year, Cott Corp. earned $47.8 million, or 50 cents per share. A year earlier it earned $37.6 million, or 40 cents per share. Annual revenue slipped 3 percent to $2.25 billion from $2.33 billion.

Cott also declared a quarterly dividend of 6 Canadian cents per share (6 cents). The dividend will be paid on April 5 to shareholders of record on March 20.

Cott's U.S. shares fell 8 cents to $8.52 in morning trading Friday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $6.01 to $9.18.