NIGERIA – Champion Breweries Plc, a producer and marketer of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in Nigeria, reported a decline in its earnings by 0.28% to US$13.27 million during its 2018 financial year down from US$13.31 millionposted in the preceding year.

The brewer also plunged into a net loss of US$0.74 million during the period under review which it attributed to increase cost of sales as well as increase in general and administrative cost.

The company said its business experienced flat sales growth recording total sales increase by only 0.28% to US$13.37 million against a 143% jump in administrative expenses to US$2.68 million.

This was coupled by a 27% spike in Selling & Distribution expenses to US$1.47 million from US$1.16 million in the previous year leading to an operating loss of US$0.62 million.

Apart from engaging in production operations in the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, Champion Breweries Plc also provides contract brewing and packaging services to Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Champion Breweries, formerly known as Champion Breweries Limited, is under the technical supervision of its controlling shareholders, a global beverage giant Heineken NV through a 60.4% stake by Raysun Nigeria Limited.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) was incorporated as a private limited liability Company in 1974 and has since then undergone changes in its ownership structure to its current status.

Its product portfolio include Champ Malta and Champion Lager beer.

In the recent past, the Nigerian breweries industry has been experiencing negative impacts of the slump in the economy occasioned by recession which has continued to dig back its performance.

However, according to a recent analysis of the sector by Afrinvest, despite stiff competition, lower consumer spending and elevated cost of production, the sector has continued to attract investment due to its attractive pricing opportunity when compared with global peers across emerging and frontier markets.

Other factors which have impacted negatively on the sector have been cited to include disruptions in supply of barley, sorghum, maize, rice and wheat to brewing companies.

The report also highlighted the likely impact of the new fiscal regulation on the sector following the introduction of additional excise duties on alcoholic beverages that came into effect on June 4, 2018.