‘Senator Keg’ sales help lift EABL profit up by Sh0.8bn

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has recorded a Sh0.8 billion (7 per cent) jump in profit for the financial year ended June 30, 2016. The beer maker posted a profit of Sh10.3 billion compared to Sh9.5 billion during the previous financial period.

EABL’s outgoing Managing Director Charles Ireland says the appetising results were largely driven by recovery of ‘Senator’ beer in Kenya and innovation across all markets.

“This has been an exciting year on many fronts and we are pleased to have delivered solid results. We still have a host of opportunities to unlock, not least in tapping an increasingly discerning customer base,” Ireland said in a statement issued yesterday.

However, during the period under review, the growth was slower due in part to a decline in the brewer’s South Sudan business. As a result, the group’s net sales remained flat.

Most of EABL’s product segments experienced a jump in emerging beer sales, buoyed by the Senator brand in Kenya, Ngule in Uganda and Pilsner in Tanzania, with mainstream spirits growing by 22 per cent.

Minimal growth was experience in premium beer, which posted a growth in sales of 2 per cent and Ready-to-Drink (RTD), whose sales jumped 3 per cent.

Mainstream beer was down 6 per cent while premium and emerging spirits were down 9 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

“I am confident that the investment we have made in our systems, brands and people will help us to take full advantage of these opportunities. We will continue to focus on innovation and prudent cost management and remain flexible to anticipate and respond to external factors in the region,” Ireland added.

Cash flow from operating activities increased by 32 per cent to Sh27.9 billion as a result of better than forecasted Senator volume, coupled with efficient management of working capital.

The Board of Directors has recommended a final dividend of Sh5.50 per share. The 2016 annual dividend remains unchanged from last year at Sh7.50 per share.

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