RWANDA – Bralirwa Plc, the producer of Heineken Beer in Rwanda, reported 3.9% growth in revenues to US$51.32 million (Rwf42.1bn) for the half year period ending 30th June 2019, driven by volume growth.

Despite a competitive market, Bralirwa sustained growth in volumes during the period – which increased of 5.2% partly offset by unfavourable mix effects.

Bralirwa’s operating result increased by 6.6% to US$8.06 million (Rwf7.4bn) from US$7.63 million (Rwf 7.0bn) posted in a corresponding period last year, on the back of increased revenue, GP Margin and cost management.

Additionally, local production of Heineken which commenced at the end of last year at Gisenyi brewery that helped to lower the cost of sales.

Profit and total comprehensive income for the first half year of 2019 grew by 8.8% to US$2.51 million (Rwf 2.3 billion).

While commenting on the results, Merid Demissie, Vice Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of Bralirwa said: “In a challenging operating environment we delivered top line growth in the first half of the year.

“Volume, revenue and GP margin improved driven by innovation, investment in our brands and lower input costs as a result of locally produced Heineken®.

“In order to drive further performance Bralirwa will continue to invest in both its brands and people and this combined with strict cost management should improve the result from operating activities.”

On the 2019 full year outlook, the company said it expects continued growth and will continue to invest in its brands, route to market and people to drive performance.

“Whilst the market environment in Rwanda is expected to remain competitive and constrained by consumer spending power, the overall beverage market is expected to be broadly positive.

“Further top line growth is expected during 2019 supported by new product introductions in the market.

“Cost pressures and the uncertain tax environment will likely continue to be challenging, but further focus on cost management and reducing debt should enable margin improvement in 2019,” the company said in a statement.

Bralirwa produces a range of soft beverage including Vital’O and Coca Cola products as well as beers under the brands Primus, Mützig, Legend, Amstel and Turbo King.