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EABL profits sink by 39pc as coronavirus restrictions dent sales

By Lewis Njoka
Thursday, July 30th, 2020
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East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) profits for the year ended June 30, 2020 dipped by 39 per cent after the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic wiped off nine per cent of the company’s net sales, the beer maker has said

In a statement, the regional beer giant said profit for the year declined by Sh4.5 billion to stand at Sh7 billion down from Sh11.5 billion posted the previous year. 

The company said the 10 per cent growth it registered in the first half of the year, was wiped off by a 29 per cent decline in the second half brought about by containment measures implemented across East Africa from late March after the ravaging virus was reported in the country.

Sharpest decline

Kenya had the sharpest decline in sales at 14 per cent during the period under review followed by Uganda at five per cent compared to the previous year.

Only the Tanzania market registered growth (14 per cent), a factor EABL has attributed to having less stringent Covid-19 containment measures.

EABL Group Managing Director, Andrew Cowan said during this unwelcome pandemic, the firm’s top priority has been to safeguard the health and well-being of the people and support communities, while taking necessary action to protect  its business. 

“Across the markets we have tracked changes in consumer behaviour and repurposed our execution plans in trade to continue serving our consumers where safe and possible to do so,” he said.

Due to the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and the need to conserve cash, EABL Board of Directors did not recommend a final dividend. 

Consequently, the interim dividend of Sh3 per share paid in April 2020 will be the full and final dividend for the year.

“Going forward, our market teams have put in place robust plans to help us emerge stronger from this crisis once the measures are eased across our markets,” Cowan said.