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[Newsmaker] Hite Jinro to see sales boom under ‘living with COVID-19’: analyst


Hite Jinro, the country’s biggest beer and soju maker in terms of market share, is expected to become the “main beneficiary” of the liquor industry as the country shifts back to normal under its “living with COVID-19” scheme, an industry analyst said Friday. 

“With the resumption of entertainment facilities operating under the ‘living with COVID-19’ scheme, the recovery of related sectors in the metropolitan area is a sign of upward momentum for the beer maker, while it has already secured the industry’s top position with soju sales,” Kim Jung-wook, a researcher at Meritz Securities, said in a report. 

Hite Jinro’s third-quarter report showed that it has earned 557.4 billion won ($470 million) in sales and 44.9 billion won in operating profit, which fell 10.7 percent and 30.3 percent, respectively, compared to a year ago. 

From July to September, the country was under the toughest social distancing rules, which made it inevitable for the liquor industry to go through market losses and a profit crunch, according to Kim.

Kim said the local liquor industry is expected to see a boom toward the year’s end, mainly due to the “base effect” -- which relates to inflation in the corresponding period of the previous year.

“With the market normalization, Hite Jinro is expected to make growth in the fourth quarter,” Kim said.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
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