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Dr Pepper’s Q1 Profit Falls 11 Percent

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NEW YORK (AP) - The Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. said Wednesday that its profit fell 11 percent in the first quarter, blaming higher costs for packaging and ingredients. Its shares fell almost 3 percent in midday trading.

The Plano, Texas-based company said its overall sales volume fell by 1 percent. In addition to its namesake drinks, Dr Pepper makes 7Up, Sunkist, Canada Dry, Mott’s and Hawaiian Punch.

For the three months ended March 31, the company reported net income of $102 million, or 48 cents per share, down from $114 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 46 cents per share. By that measure, analysts on average had expected earnings of 48 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Shares of Dr Pepper fell $1.14, or 2.9 percent, to $39.18 in midday trading. Its shares are up 14 percent from their 52-week low of $34.37 in early August. They peaked for the year at $43.13 a month earlier — a day after the July 4 holiday.

Net sales rose to $1.36 billion — matching analysts’ expectations — compared with $1.33 billion, largely as a result of price increases. But rising ingredient costs offset those gains.

The company said overall sales volume of non-carbonated beverages fell 7 percent as Hawaiian Punch volume declined 21 percent, Mott’s volume fell 16 percent and Clamato fell 27 percent. Overall volume for carbonated drinks rose 2 percent.

Dr Pepper said it continues to expect full year net sales growth to be on the low end of a 3 percent to 5 percent range. Net income for the year, excluding one-time items, is expected to be between $2.90 and $2.98 per share.

Analysts expect earnings of $2.94 for the year.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APTV-04-25-12 1057CDT

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