NAIROBI, Kenya July 30 – The East African Breweries Limited has recorded a 39 percent decline in profit for the financial year ended 30 June 2020 in what has been attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 containment measures on the regional business performance.
The brewer’s profit declined to Sh7 billion from Sh11.5 billion recorded in the previous year as net sales for the second half of the year dropped by 29 percent.
The firm recorded a 9 percent decline in net sales for the financial year ended 30 June 2020.
While Kenya and Uganda’s net sales declined by 14 and 5 percent respectively versus prior year, Tanzania net sales grew by 14 percent.
“Double-digit growth in premium and mainstream beer segments and improved spirits performance supported a strong delivery for the financial year,” the firm said of Tanzania whose Government restrictions on COVID-19 was limited.
Through a statement issued Wednesday, the firm said that shareholders will not receive their final dividend as part of the new strategy to conserve cash.
“In recognition of the uncertainty in the external environment in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to conserve cash to support the business, the Board of Directors do not recommend a final dividend,” the firm said.
The interim dividend of Shs 3 per share paid in April 2020 will be the full and final dividend for the year
EABL Group CEO, Andrew Cowan, said that in the wake of the pandemic, the firm has channelled its resources and expenditure to new and emerging channels in order to ensure consumers are served safely.
“During this unwelcome pandemic, our top priority has been to safeguard the health and well-being of our people and support our communities, while taking necessary action to protect our business, we have tracked changes in consumer behavior and repurposed our execution plans in trade to continue serving our consumers where safe and possible to do so,” Cowan said.
The firm has also committed Sh500 million to support the recovery of on-trade outlets in Nairobi, Kampala and Dar es Salam through the implementation of hygiene measures, provision of practical equipment and provision of free digital support and training.
“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.