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Pioneer Food Full-Year Profit Drops on Antitrust Fine

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Pioneer Food Group Ltd., a South African food company, said full-year profit dropped 58 percent after it paid a record penalty for anti-competitive behavior in its bread, milling, poultry and egg units.

Net income fell to 234.5 million rand ($31.4 million) in the 12 months through September, from 560.5 million rand a year earlier, the Paarl-based company said in a stock-exchange statement today. Sales dropped 3 percent to 15.7 billion rand.

Pioneer, which produces Weet-Bix cereal and Heinz Tomato Ketchup, earlier this year settled antitrust penalties worth 1.05 billion rand for price-fixing in flour and corn processing, and collusion in flour, bread and corn prices.

Annual profit was “substantially impacted by the settlement we reached with the Competition Commission,” the company said in the statement. “A largely sustained earnings performance is expected in the current financial year based on current growth momentum,” it said, without providing further details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nicky Smith in Johannesburg at nsmith38@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net.

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