UK-based alcoholic beverages company Diageo has warned that the spread of the deadly Covid-19 (coronavirus) in greater China and the Asia Pacific region could affect its 2020 profit by $260m.

The company states that in China, bars and restaurants have been closed, with significant disruption in its Chinese market since the end of January, expecting the situation to last at least into March.

The Johnnie Walker owner said that the operating profits could be £140m-£200m ($260m) lower than expected due to disruption across Asia.

The company cautioned that these ranges exclude any impact of coronavirus on its other markets beyond China and the Asia Pacific.

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The drinks industry has suffered massive losses due to coronavirus as China accounts for nearly 35% of global luxury goods sales.

Diageo joins an expanding list of businesses divulging financial losses related to the coronavirus.

Headquartered in London, Diageo’s brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Baileys and Guinness. It also owns 37% of Moët Hennessy, which owns brands including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Hennessy. It sells its products in more than 180 countries and has offices in around 80 countries.

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With new deaths in China and other parts of the world, the death toll from Covid-19 has increased to 2,800, as of the end of 26 February.

Mainland China reported 29 new deaths, including 26 in Hubei province and one in Beijing municipality. The total number of deaths in the region reached 2,744, 2,641 in Hubei.

Global confirmed cases are more than 82,000 and recoveries also exceeded 32,000. In mainland China alone, a total of 78,497 people have tested positive, and 32,495 patients have recovered.