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Country Bird Falls as Strike Cuts Profit: Johannesburg Mover

Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- County Bird Holdings Ltd. fell the most in 11 months after saying earnings per share for the six months through December were probably 44 percent to 48 percent lower than a year earlier.

Shares in the poultry producer declined as much as 8.4 percent, the most since March 11, to 4.72 rand, and closed 5.8 percent lower at 4.85 rand in Johannesburg.

The drop in profit is mostly a result of a strike at one of its South African abattoirs, the company said in a trading statement today. The work stoppage at Country Bird’s Botshabelo abattoir in South Africa’s Free State province in July lasted nine weeks.

Country Bird jumped to a four-year high on Feb. 14 after South Africa imposed higher charges on chicken imports from Brazil to protect local suppliers.

Brazil’s poultry association said it will ask the government to approach the World Trade Organization about South Africa imposing higher tariffs on some imports from the South American nation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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