Costs arising from the US$14bn merger of PepsiCo with Quaker Oats depressed profits by 4.4% in the fourth quarter, the group admitted yesterday [Wednesday]. Pepsi's Q4 profits were 37 cents per share, or US$667m. Discounting the impact of merger costs, profits would have climbed 16% to 42 cents per share on a like-for-like basis.