The Covid-19 related restrictions, coupled with alcohol bans in Namibia and South Africa, saw revenue for Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) drop by 18.5% for December 2020, down to N$1.39 billion. Announcing the results last Friday, NBL’s Managing Director (MD) Marco Wenk said overall volumes declined by 23.1% predominantly due to the Covid-19 impact, which severely obstructed the SA trading environment.
Domestically, Namibian beer volumes increased by 1.5% on the back of strong consumer support and loyalty, specifically for Windhoek Draught that showed exceptional growth.
“Beer volumes supplied to South Africa were down by 66.1% due to lockdown conditions and alcohol bans. Export volumes contracted by 15% with Tanzania and Zambia still performing well, also given a favourable exchange rate during the reporting period,” stated Wenk.
Meanwhile, Heineken SA experienced severe trade restrictions during the reporting period which impacted volumes as well as royalties and resulted in a revenue decrease for NBL.
Wenk continued added that NBL’s share of associate loss of N$90 million is a significant reversal from last year’s positive contribution of N$77 million. Also, the Group’s board declared an interim dividend of 56c on 9 March 2021, which represents an increase of 5.7% from the previous period.
“The first six months of NBL’s 2021 financial year has seen a 1.5% increase in Namibian beer volume and 1.3% growth in operating profit. This is mainly attributed to our continued drive for responsible and excellent trade execution, high-quality standards, a flexible and innovative route to market, cost and production efficiencies, as well as innovative operational execution,” explained the MD.
Wenk concluded that he expects steady performance for NBL’s core portfolio in the second half of this financial year, anchored by the Windhoek and Tafel branded beers.
He said NBL will continue to focus on further innovation around brands, trade execution, and operational efficiencies, while they continue to support and adhere to all regulations and directives to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Once trade restrictions have been reasonably lifted, we expect our South African performance to stabilise and return to normality. Although trading conditions will continue to impact our business in the second half of our financial year, NBL continues to be resilient and we remain committed to finding every growth opportunity possible,” concluded Wenk.
At the same occasion, NBL Finance Director Waldemar von Lieres noted that Performance in Namibia for the first six months of the 2021 financial year was very encouraging despite Covid-19 restrictions.
He indicated that beer volumes in Namibia delivered positive growth while overall margins were encouraging due to good price and cost management.