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Americans shun Corona beer over coronavirus fears

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While a new survey says 38 percent of Americans are not buying Corona beer over the outlandish thought it is contaminated with the deadly coronavirus, the brand’s brewer AB InBev over the weekend predicted a rise in 2020 operating profits.

Still, the brewer admitted the first quarter will be difficult owing to the Covid-19 epidemic, not so much for the tarnished Corona brand, but because of deflated demand for beer per se to the tune of $285 million in foregone sales.

AB InBev, which is also behind the popular brand Stella Artois and Budweiser, announced 29-percent growth in 2019 net profits to $8.09 billion, helped by the $5-billion listing of its Asian subsidiary in Hong Kong in September.

But the Belgian-Brazilian brewer said it was “not satisfied” with the results and warned of a stormy first quarter because of coronavirus.

“The outbreak has led to a significant decline in demand in China in both on-premise and in-home channels. Additionally, demand during the Chinese New Year was lower than in previous years as it coincided with the beginning of this outbreak,” the company said.

“For the first two months of 2020, we estimate that the outbreak has resulted in lost revenue of approximately $285 million.”

p/jhd with AFP

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