KENYA – East African Breweries PLC (EABL) has reported robust financial performance for the half-year ended December 31, 2023, with net sales reaching Kes66.5 billion (US$407.96M), marking a substantial 16% growth compared to the previous year.  

The company’s volumes increased by 2%, driven by resilient consumer demand and a strong portfolio with effective commercial execution. 

EABL Group’s net sales growth was evident across its key markets, with Kenya experiencing a 10% increase, Uganda at 31%, and Tanzania at 9%. Notably, both the beer and spirits categories exhibited impressive growth rates of 18% and 13%, respectively. 

Despite the impressive top-line growth, EABL’s half-year profit after tax witnessed a 22% decline, totaling Kes 6.8 billion (US$41.72M) compared to the same period last year. The decline is attributed to macro-economic-driven cost inflation and rising financing costs.  

Additionally, the devaluation of the local currency resulted in a forex (FX) loss of Kes 2.3 billion (US$14.11M), representing an increase of Kes 2.1 billion (US$12.88M) from the same period last year. 

EABL’s CEO, Jane Karuku, said, “We have achieved a resilient set of results in the half-year period. Our great brand building, brilliant commercial execution, as well as consumer insight-led innovation, has allowed us to continue our revenue growth momentum.  

However, our bottom line has been impacted by increased costs of inputs, currency devaluation, and rising interest rates.” 

Karuku highlighted the company’s commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies, emphasizing positive results in water efficiency and carbon footprint. She also mentioned the accelerated launch of new beer and cider propositions following the commissioning of EABL’s microbrewery. 

EABL continued to invest in its brands, with advertising and promotions spending increasing by 16.5% to Kes 6.1 billion. The company’s Kes 1.2 billion (US$7.36M) microbrewery in Kenya began producing innovative brands during the half-year period. 

Looking ahead, Karuku outlined the company’s priorities for the second half, stating, “Our priorities for the second half are clear: we will remain consumer-centric and execute brilliantly to keep up with the dynamism in the market, drive cost efficiencies to grow margins, and invest smartly in our brands and business.  

Further, we will continue to deliver against our ESG commitments while driving high performance culture and engagement of our people.” 

In response to the positive financial performance, the EABL Board has recommended an interim dividend of Kes1 (US$0.0061) per share to be paid on or about April 26, 2024. 

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