Atlantic closing frozen beverage unit

MARYLAND WATCH

January 27, 1996

Atlantic Beverage Co. Inc. yesterday announced plans to terminate its frozen beverage division and take a one-time charge of $2.4 million to discontinue the operation.

The division generated about 2 percent of Atlantic Beverage's roughly $25 million in annual sales. It could not be determined what effect the closing would have on its Flying Fruit Fantasy fruit shake, which has largely been a money loser since its debut in 1980.

William E. O'Leary, Atlantic Beverage's president and chief executive, did not return several telephone calls for comment.

The decision to close the division represents the latest recent setback for the Baltimore-based wholesale distributor of specialty nonalcoholic beverages. In the third quarter of 1995, Atlantic Beverage reported no earnings on revenues of $6.2 million, a sales decline of 10 percent from the previous year.

Atlantic Beverage went public in November 1993 at $6.50 a share. Its stock closed yesterday at $1.62.

Atlantic Beverage also has exclusive rights to distribute such brand name products as Royal Mistic, Elliott's Amazing Juices and Deer Park bottled water.

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