NB Plc strategises to assuage alcohol levies on consumers

Nigerian Breweries Plc

With the proposed excise duty on tobacco and alcoholic beverages set to be implemented in a few weeks, Nigerian Breweries Plc has announced plans to assuage the impact of such increase, which will be transferred to consumers, by intensifying its cost-saving measures.

Similarly, the brewing firm stated that it would continue to intensify its local sourcing of raw materials as well as seek further improvements in its sorghum value-chain.

Besides, the brewer also noted that it would be consolidating its earnings and profitability through improved consumer value engagement, market penetration, stocking to hedge against market volatility as well as ensuring a balance in the management of input costs and price consumers are willing to pay for its products.

At a current sourcing level of about 50 per cent of its raw materials locally, the brewer is optimistic of achieving its 60 per cent target before 2020.

Speaking to journalists ahead of the firm’s yearly general meeting, the Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Jordi Borrut Bel, said though the operating environment is projected to remain challenging in the 2018 financial year, alongside continued down-trading by consumers, the company will continue to improve on its value extraction from cassava and other commodities used as raw materials.

For the financial year ended December 31, 2017, Nigeria Breweries Plc posted a profit after tax of N33 billion against N28 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2017.

Similarly, its revenue for the period stood at N344 billion, higher than N313 billion achieved in the previous year, while the company’s profit before tax also rose from N39 billion to N46 billion during the period under review.

Based on the improved performance, the directors of the company are recommending a final dividend of N25 billion translating to N3.13 kobo per share

The brewery firm had earlier paid an interim dividend of N1.00 per share, bringing the total dividend for the 2017 financial year to N4.13 kobo up from N3.58 kobo paid in 2016.

Reviewing its performance, Bel explained that the company has given out 100 per cent dividend payout as part of its dividend policy which is consistent with the firm’s robust balance sheet.

“It is a sign of confidence for the future and strong balance sheet which indicates our ability to cash year on year”, he added.

He pointed out that firm is well positioned to trade through difficult times by leveraging its innovative brands across different market segments.

“We remain committed to the market in the long term given that the fundamental of the beer market remains strong and attractive in the both medium and long term.

“The brewed product market would remain competitive and consumers are expected to continue the down-trading as they seek for more affordable brands. Cost leadership and market leadership supported by innovation remain our key strategic pillars”, he added.

Despite market fluctuations and competitions, Star Lager maintained its position in the year as Nigeria’s number one drink.



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