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Marfrig Climbs on Plan to Raise Prices at Seara Unit

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Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Marfrig Alimentos SA rose to a two-month high after the chief of the Brazilian meatpacker’s biggest unit told newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo he’s planning a price increase.

Shares of Marfrig, Latin America’s second-biggest meatpacker, climbed 1.8 percent to 10.61 reais at the close of trading in Sao Paulo, the highest since Dec. 3. Trading volume was 1.3 times the average of the past three months. The benchmark Bovespa index fell 1.3 percent.

Sergio Rial, chief executive officer of Sao Paulo-based Marfrig’s Seara unit, plans to reduce the price difference between Seara-brand products and those of Brasil Foods SA’s Sadia, the market leader, according to the report. The percentage difference should be in the single digits, down from 15 percent currently, he told the newspaper in an interview.

The Seara brand is part of the Seara Foods unit, which accounted for 69 percent of Marfrig’s revenue in the third quarter of 2012, according to its website.

Rial, 52, who has been designated to take over as Marfrig’s chief at the start of 2014, also plans to reduce the number of items in Seara’s portfolio and increase outlets to 100,000 from 70,000 currently, the newspaper said.

A Marfrig press official who asked not to be identified in accordance with company policy confirmed Rial’s comments when contacted by Bloomberg News.

The company’s shares have gained 29 percent over the past year, while the Bovespa fell 8.7 percent in the period.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julia Leite in New York at jleite3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Papadopoulos at papadopoulos@bloomberg.net

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