East African Breweries Ltd boost Diageo in full-year

East African Breweries Ltd boost Diageo in full-year

East African Breweries Ltd has reported higher profits and a strong rise in sales for its fiscal year, emphasising Africa's growing importance to parent group Diageo.

Net sales for the 12 months to the end of June rose by 16% to KHS44.9bn (US$479.4m), said Diageo-controlled East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) late last week. Net profits increased by 2% on the previous year, to KHS9bn, with operating profits up by 8%.

The figures underline Africa's rise to prominence within Diageo. Over the past few months, just-drinks understands, Africa has been the main beneficiary of Diageo's recruitment drive in emerging markets, partially at the expense of jobs in Europe.

In addition, while beer remains the mainstay of EABL's business, Diageo sees strong potential for spirits across Africa. EABL's CEO, Seni Adetu, described his company's full-year results as encouraging. He said sales were driven by "growth of key brands Tusker and Guinness and an impressive uplift in our spirits performance".

He added: "We have strengthened the business and increased investment in our brands, our people, our distribution network and our supply business."

During the year, EABL acquried a 51% in Tanzania's second largest brewer, Serengeti Breweries. The deal pits Diageo against SABMiller in the country

EABL still owns a 20% stake in SABMiller's Tanzania Breweries, which leads the market, but EABL said that it is "in the final stages of relinquishing its stake", as required by regulatory authorities. The Serengeti deal hands EABL control of three more breweries in the East Africa region. 

For just-drinks' full coverage of Diageo's full-year results, announced last week, click here.