AFRICA: Namibian Breweries anticipates negative tax amendments

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Namibia Breweries, 44% owned by Interbrew subsidiary Beck's, will not be offering a dividend to shareholders for the six months to 31 July 2002.

This comes in the light of anticipated adverse effects from a proposed Income Tax Amendment expected to be implemented by the Windhoek authorities before the end of the year.

The amendments relate to manufacturing rebates and allowances and are expected to “have a significant adverse impact on the results of the operations of the Group in the current financial year”, the drinks company, which operates mainly in Namibia, South Africa and sectors of Angola, announced.

High depreciation and interest rates on capital investments in previous years had affected the group’s bottom line and earnings per share only increased by 1.6% 8.66c from 8.52c in the same period last year.

Operating income grew by 11% from N$38.5m in the first six months of 2001 to N$42.9m in the period under review. (£1=N$16)

The company is listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange, with Interbrew subsidiary Beck’s, holding a 44% interest.

Exports of soft drinks and beer, particularly into Angola showed volume growth of 7.5%. The incorporation of third party distributors in the Western Cape and Natal were one of the main reasons for a 26% increase in operating expenses in the past six months compared with 2001.

There was also a 24% rise in revenue over the same period in 2001, thanks to volume growth and the change of status of distributors in the two provinces.

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