Int’l Breweries’ losses widen in Qtr1 amid capacity expansion

Hero lager

International Breweries Plc, on Wednesday, reported a net loss of N3.98bn for the first quarter of 2019, further widening its losses from the previous year. The brewer posted a net loss of N3.8bn in full-year 2018.

The loss came despite strong sales growth of 35.1% in the quarter to N35bn. The firm attributed the loss to a 43% increase in cost of sales to N22.6bn, marketing and promotional expenses which surged 64% to N7.7bn, and net finance cost which jumped 41.1% to N5bn from N3.6bn.

The company also reported a net foreign exchange loss of N364m, a 429% increase from the previous year.

The increased losses are linked to its growth momentum as the company expands its newly acquired capacity to meet customer demands. International Breweries completed the construction of a new brewery in Sagamu, Ogun State in 2018 at an initial cost of US$250m. The global CEO of AB InBev, its parent company, while commenting at a recent media briefing in South Africa said that its capacity expansion in the new Sagamu brewery, which is being expanded in phases, is likely to raise the cost to US$400m.

“Nigeria (is) becoming a more and more important market as we grow in that market,” Brito said.

“I mean we’re growing double digits, we didn’t grow in the past as fast because we were lacking capacity and now that we have capacity, strong brands and (a) great group of people we’re challenging the status quo there”.

International Breweries beer brands include Budweiser, Hero Lager, Trophy lager, Beta malt, among others.

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