Namibia Breweries Ltd. (Nambrew) has seen its headline earnings per share (EPS) rise in the 17 months to June. Operating profit tumbled for the company, however, as competition in South Africa intensified.

Nambrew said yesterday (27 September) that EPS increased to 18.8 cents in the period. The figures are not comparable with the previous period, however, as the company changed its financial year-end to 30 June from 31 January.

In the previous financial year to the end of January, headline EPS came in at 11 cents.

During the 17 months under review, the brewer saw operating profit fall sharply to NAD36.8m (US$5.73m) from NAD70.5m in the previous 12 months.

Nambrew, in which Heineken and Diageo hold a combined 28.9% stake, blamed the decline on a flat beer market in Namibia, intense competition in the South African premium beer market and costs related to the establishment of a BrandHouse Joint Venture in South Africa.

The company said it was confident that the foundation had been laid for regaining market share in Namibia and increasing growth in South Africa and other export markets. "This will contribute to sustainable profit growth in the medium to long-term future," it said in a statement.