KENYA – Almasi Beverages Limited (ABL), majority-owned by listed firm Centum Investments , has announced plans to build a new bottling plant and distribution centre for Coca-Cola products in Eldoret to cash in on the area’s growing middle class.

The bottling firm said it would also build a production hall, a warehouse and erect a perimeter wall around its Eldoret premises.

Last Friday, Almasi Beverages initiated the process of putting up the factory by inviting qualified firms to tender for the consultancy services for the development of the factory and distribution centre site master plan.

The move follows the firm’s successful rights issue in which it raised Sh1.6 billion in 2016 to fund the planned expansion drive at its three bottling facilities and improvement of its distribution networks.

Almasi Beverages chairman James Mworia, who also serves as Centum chief executive, was quoted on the company’s website as saying the funds’ injection would see them expand their facilities and position the firm to seize emerging opportunities for Coca-Cola products in Kenya and rest of East Africa.

“ABL has continually and consistently recorded growth with great performance on volumes, revenue and profitability year on year,” said Mr Mworia at the time.

The firm — which is the holding company for Kisii Bottlers, Mount Kenya Bottlers based in Nyeri and Rift Valley Bottlers in Uasin Gishu County — acquired a new fleet of 11 Mercedes Actros trucks worth Sh183 million to enhance its delivery ability by an additional 25,000 cases per day.

ABL produces up to 30 per cent of Coca-Cola beverages volume consumed in 25 counties with its future growth pegged to the expanding Kenyan middle class, improved infrastructure, and increased economic activity in counties following devolution.

Business Daily