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Maple Leaf profit misses estimates on lower hog prices

(Reuters) - Maple Leaf Foods Inc MFI.TO, one of Canada's biggest pork processors, posted a quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by lower hog prices and higher investments in its flagship brands.

The company’s sales fell 3.7 percent to C$874.8 million ($671.1 million), as the drop in fresh pork prices offset growth in sustainable meat and plant-based protein products. Analysts on average had expected sales of C$901.1 million.

“It was a challenging period driven by temporary global trade instability,” Chief Executive Officer Michael McCain said in a statement.

The company’s net earnings fell to C$26.6 million, or 21 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from C$37.6 million, or 29 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 29 Canadian cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate of 33 Canadian cents, according to Refinitiv data.

($1 = C$1.30)

Reporting by Shanti S Nair and Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Maju Samuel

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