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Consolidates Breweries invests N15bn to boost operations

By The Citizen
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Consolidated Breweries Plc invested N15 billion to boost its efficiency and remain competitive in the industry, adding that in spite of increased competition in the value for money segment, it has been able to sustain its leadership .

The Managing Director of the company, Mr Boudewijn Haarsma, who disclosed this recently in Lagos noted that the investment was made in two years.

'If you take the totality of our investment in the last two years, it amounted to about N15 billion. In 2013 alone, N6billion was invested in new equipment, capacity expansion and process standardisation.

“This has created improvements in our operational efficiency and cost savings. The impact of these measures, although not yet very visible in our 2013 results, is already manifesting in our performance in the first quarter (Q1) of 2014. In Q1 of 2014, we reported very strong volume growth well ahead of the market average,' he said.

Consolidated Breweries ended 2013 with an increase of 12 per cent  net profit. While revenue for 2013 closed at N34 billion, profit after tax rose from  N1.103 billion  in 2012 to N1.237billion in 2013.

Haarsma decried the  inclement operational environment, saying growth in the beer market stalled over the last two years, following several years with average growth rates of 10 per cent.

'The slowdown in growth was on account of increasing pressure on consumers' disposable income. At the same time, sales of the most affordable brands in the market, also known as the 'value for money segment', grew faster than before.

“This led to significantly increased competition in the 'value for money segment' as all brewers have reacted to the changing market dynamics and are increasing their commercial focus and investments behind their more affordable brands,' he said.

Apart from capacity expansion, Consolidated  launched a new bottle for  its flagship brand, “33″ Export lager beer in 2013. The product, the company said, has  been very well received in the market.