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Heineken withdraws 2020 guidance as Coronavirus weakens sales

The world’s second largest beer-maker, Heineken said it suffered a decline in beer sales in the first three months of the year, predicting worse to come in the second quarter and scrapped its 2020 guidance due to the coronavirus crisis.

The brewer said in a note on Wednesday that it believed beer sales fell by 2percent in the first quarter and overall volumes, including cider and soft drinks, by 4percent.

“The impact is expected to worsen in the second quarter,” Heineken warned in a statement.

Dutch brewer said it would not carry out permanent layoffs as a consequence of the crisis during 2020 and would continue to pay suppliers based on agreed payment terms, with early payments to those that were smaller and more vulnerable.

Heineken said it has entered the crisis with a strong balance sheet as well as undrawn committed credit facilities and has successfully secured additional financing on the debt capital market in recent weeks.

Read also: UBTH retrains 75 medical personnel to manage coronavirus cases

Heineken becomes the latest drinks company to warn that the Coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on business, following the world largest brewer, Anheuser- Busch Inbev’s warning and also Diageo.

Last month AB Inbev had warned of 10percent decline in first- quarter profit after the coronavirus outbreak hit beer sales during the Chinese New Year, sending its shares skidding.

Diageo alerted that the fast- spreading virus across the globe could erode up to $ 260 million off its profit in 2020.

Nightlife has suddenly come a halt as country effect a lockdown on movement in a bid to curtail the spread to the virus.

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