ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer, on Monday said the coronavirus pandemic has already resulted in $285 million in lost revenue through February.
That prompted the Belgium-based company, the maker of Budweiser and Bud Light, to withdraw its 2020 outlook, which it issued at the end of February when the virus was still mostly in China. It had previously said it expected earnings growth of 5%, Bloomberg reported.
But the impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, led to significant decline in demand in China in both on-premise and in-home sales channels, the company said. It also drew down demand during the Chinese New Year, which coincided with the beginning of the outbreak.
In addition to the lost revenue, the company estimates its lost $170 million in earnings before interest, taxes and others charges.
“We are living in extraordinary times. The COVID-19 pandemic represents unprecedented challenges for societies, governments and businesses across the world," CEO Carlos Brito said in a news release. “We continue to implement our business continuity plans and are preparing for a strong recovery, learning from the experiences of our operations across the world."
Brito said its team in China "demonstrated tremendous resilience and agility," taking actions to adapt the business "in response to a volatile environment and changing behaviors."
"Their efforts were remarkable, and their experience and insight continue to benefit our operations around the world," he said. "We are proud of the resilience and commitment of our teams. Our diverse geographic footprint, unparalleled portfolio of brands, clear commercial strategy and talented people will continue to take us forward.”
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