Corona brewer AB InBev gets clobbered in fearful China
In an unfortunate coincidence for the world’s biggest brewer, one of its leading lager brands is called Corona
The world’s biggest brewer, AB InBev (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=ANH), on Thursday forecast a rise in 2020 operating profits despite a difficult first quarter owing to the coronavirus epidemic, which has already cost it $285m.
The company behind brands including Castle, Stella Artois and Budweiser announced 29% growth in 2019 net profits to $8.09bn. But the Belgian-Brazilian brewer said it was “not satisfied” with the results and warned of a stormy first quarter because of coronavirus. Its shares were down (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=ANH) more than 8% on the JSE on Thursday.
“The outbreak has led to a significant decline in demand in China. 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. It sells more Budweiser in China than in the lager’s key US market...