• Half-year net profits leap by 38% to KES4.4bn (US$53m)
  • Net sales rise by 36% to KES27.8bn
  • Operating profits up by 20% to KES7.3bn
East African Breweries Ltd sees H1 sales, profits jump

East African Breweries Ltd sees H1 sales, profits jump

Diageo's Kenya-based subsidiary, East African Breweries Ltd, has survived a weaker economic climate to report strong gains in sales and profits for its fiscal first-half.

Net sales for the six months to the end of December leapt by 36% on the same period of the previous year, to KES27.8bn (US$336m), East African Breweries (EABL) said this week. Its acquisition of a 51% stake in Tanzania-based Serengeti Breweries contributed to 13% of net sales over the period.

This reduced EABL's reliance on Kenya, although EABL's home market still accounted for almost two thirds of sales by value in the six-month period. The brewer's half-year net sales in Kenya rose by 14%. However, volumes rose by a more modest 3%, due to "turbulent" economic conditions and what the group described as "inconsistent application of new regulations" in the alcoholic drinks sector. 

EABL's MD and CEO, Seni Adetu, said: “In the period under review, there was economic turbulence in the region, as manifested by currency fluctuations (and high Shilling depreciation), high interest rates and high inflation, with the result that operating costs and consumer disposable income were under severe pressure." 

Off a smaller base, Uganda proved to be the standout growth market over the half-year. EABL's volumes in the country rose by 21%, with net sales up by 43% and operating profits close to quadrupling. Uganda accounted for a fifth of group net sales. 

Stronger marketing costs, including a 55% rise in advertising and promotion spend, curtailed EABL's overall operating profits growth during the six months. Still, operating profits rose by 20% to KES7.3bn. Net profits benefited further from lower tax payments, to rise by 38% to almost KES4.4bn.

Looking ahead, Adetu said that EABL will invest more behind key brands, such as the strong-performing Tusker lager, as well as "ramp up spirits capacity". The group also plans to improve local sourcing of raw materials. Adetu added that he expects sales momentum to continue into the second-half. 

For the company announcement, click here.