Snow Brand Milk Products Co., at the center of a food-poisoning scandal involving its milk, will cease compensating retail agents for falling sales toward the end of this month, company officials said Monday.

Snow Brand stopped such measures at the end of August for stores in regions other than Kinki, Chugoku and Shikoku, and is to lift the program for those regions as well.

The program was set up as an emergency measure for July and August only, the officials added.

Analysts say if the scheme is lifted altogether, more troubled retailers will be forced to close, weakening Snow Brand’s sales network and dealing an added blow to its earnings.

With sales plunging, Snow Brand is likely to fall into the red for the current fiscal year, the first loss since it was founded in 1950.

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