Posters falsely claim Café de Coral owes HK$2.6 million, supplier firmly denies allegations

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21st May 2024 – (Hong Kong) Café de Coral Holdings, the fast-food conglomerate listed under the stock code 0341 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has been forced to address a wave of false allegations regarding outstanding payments to its supplier, Utility Sugar Trading Limited. The allegations, which surfaced online, claimed the company had failed to settle debts amounting to HK$2.6 million.

The rumours began with the circulation of a document online, purportedly from Utility Sugar Trading Limited, demanding payment for the alleged debts. The document quickly gained traction, leading to physical copies being posted outside several Café de Coral outlets, escalating concerns among stakeholders and customers alike.

However, both Café de Coral and Utility Sugar Trading Limited have categorically denied these claims. A spokesperson from Utility Sugar clarified that the company had not issued any such notices and confirmed that no such debts exist. “These claims are utterly baseless and it appears we are victims of a malicious hoax,” the spokesperson stated.

Café de Coral responded swiftly to the allegations with a public declaration refuting the claims. “We have discovered notices outside several of our outlets purporting to be debt collection warnings. We vehemently denounce these as forgeries and affirm that they are entirely false,” a statement from the group declared.

The company further emphasised that it maintains rigorous financial controls and has always adhered to its financial obligations with all partners, underscoring its reputation for integrity and reliability in the market. Café de Coral has already reported the incident to the police and is taking legal steps to address the spread of these fraudulent claims.

“The dissemination of false information not only undermines our reputation but also affects our stakeholders and the market at large. We are in the process of taking stringent legal action against the individuals responsible for orchestrating this defamation,” the company added.