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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Consumers cut back on discretionary drinks

October 23, 2008

Check Out Coca-Cola Enterprises feeling the pinch as cash-strapped consumers buy fewer soft drinks.

The world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler cut its full-year outlook on Thursday, even though third-quarter results met Wall Street’s view.

“Our performance remains below our expectations as we work through a combination of significant marketplace challenges, including a weakened North American economic environment, changing consumer purchasing patterns, and the impact of volatile fuel costs,” Chairman and Chief Executive John Brock said.

Brock said his company is working on its fundamental business review and would divulge details of that plan in December.  The bottler now expects to earn $1.25 to $1.29 per share this year, excluding items, down from a previous forecast of $1.40 to $1.45 per share.

Meanwhile, Danish brewer Carlsberg said its French subsidiary, Brasseries Kronenbourg, would cut 214 of its 1,400 employees as it works on restoring profitability.

The French beer market has been declining for many years and even market leader Brasseries Kronenbourg is losing market share, hurt by strong legislation and the general economic slowdown, Carlsberg said.

Also in the basket:

RadioShack posts higher quarterly profit (Reuters)

Altria profit beats estimates (Reuters)

An Ironic Look for Lean Times: Extreme Banker (WSJ)


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