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Dutch brewer Heineken halted its operations in Egypt due to continued conflict and anti-government protests in the country, according to Beverage Daily.com.

The company, which employs 2,400 people in the region has evacuated its 25 expatriate employees on private planes and asked its local employees to stay home.

The report quoted Anoeska Vanleeuwen, a spokesman for Heineken, saying the company was not clear when production will be resumed or what the cost will be to the brewer.

SNS Securities analyst Richard Withagen said the country is Heineken’s most important market in North Africa, with estimated annual sales of more than €160m (USD$218m).

However, the impact on the group as a whole is not expected to be too significant. The SNC analyst does not expect the event to have a major impact on Heineken’s bottom line.

According to reports, chemicals company Akzo Nobel, dairy giant Unilever, Japanese auto company Nissan Motor Co, French building-materials company Lafarge and General Motors Co have suspended their production in the country.

In the past week streams of Egyptians have taken to the streets to protest against president Hosni Mubarak in an attempt to challenge to his 30-year rule. — Source: Beverage.com

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