SOUTH AFRICA – South African Breweries (SAB), a unit of global brewing giant AB InBev, has embarked on a restructuring process that will lead to a headcount at its local operations.

In response to questions from News24, SAB confirmed a restructuring process had begun, and consultations with affected employees were in progress.

The company said only a “very small amount–less than 0.01%” of the group’s 5 000 permanent South African jobs would be affected. Where possible, SAB plans to absorb affected staff into other areas of its business.

The process follows a review of its operating models across the business in line with its “continuous improvement processes and a dynamic environment globally.”

“This review recommended changes to human resource allocations,” SAB detailed, adding that process undertaken “adhered to both the spirit and letter of labor relations legislation.”

A week earlier, the company invested R500 million in expanding the Nelson Mandela Bay plant. According to the company, the investment will enable the plant to produce new beverage products, resulting in the creation of approximately 14 000 additional jobs.

The expansion will see the Gqeberha plant processing ciders like Flying Fish and Redd’s, which were previously produced at the Johannesburg plant.

The chief executive officer of SAB, Richard Rivett-Carnac, said the investment in the Gqeberha plant was SAB’s commitment to the people of the Eastern Cape.

“Apart from producing more products at the plant, this investment will have far more eco-social benefits through the advantages it will bring within the whole value chain.

“We are excited that we have reached this stage, following a commitment we have to the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Rivett-Carn

In the latest financial results, the company’s parent company, AB InBev, reported double-digit top-and-bottom-line growth in South Africa with record-high full-year volumes despite capacity constraints in the fourth quarter.

As for its South Africa business, AB InBev’s revenue grew by mid-single digits, with mid-single digit revenue per hl growth primarily driven by revenue management initiatives in the quarter.

Revenue for FY22 grew by the mid-teens with mid-single digit revenue per hl growth and a high-single-digit increase in volume. EBITDA grew by the mid-teens.

The world’s largest brewer flagged Flying Fish and Brutal Fruit as top local performers, with these alcohol brands all reporting double-digit revenue growth on a full-year basis. In SA, Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish delivered 18% revenue growth.

At the global level, the company reported revenue growth of 11.2%, while EBITDA growth came in at the “top-end of our outlook”, said AB InBev CEO Michel Doukeris in a statement.

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