Shareholders of Bralirwa are set to see an increase in earnings of their shares after the firm registered an after tax profit of 263.3 per cent in 2017.
The firm, which is Rwanda’s oldest brewery, announced that their after tax income had gone up from Rwf 1.4 billion in 2016 to Rwf 5 billion in 2017.
As a result, the firm’s managing director, Victor Madiela, said earnings per share had improved to Rwf4.94 from Rwf1.36 in 2016.
“Continued focus on cost savings combined with operational efficiencies as well as lower finance costs resulted in improved performance. The results from operating activities increased by 21.3 per cent to Rwf14.7 billion from Rwf12.1 billion in 2016,” he said.
He attributed the returns to lower financing costs as well as cost savings mechanisms in the course of the previous year.
The results were despite a drop in the total volume of products sold by 12.4 per cent due to negative impact of increasing prices on soft drinks and beer between August 2016 and January 2017 as well as increased competition in the market.
“Price increases in beer and soft drinks to compensate for increased fixed costs of operations as well as currency depreciation which resulted in increased costs of raw materials. The increase in beer price was the first in six years and resulted in lower volume which was anticipated,” he said.
He added that the company is also facing increased competition from other local breweries as well as beer importers.
Skol Brewery is the second largest brewery and has been increasing its presence in the market in recent years while imports such as East African Breweries Limited products (such as Tusker, Sminorff Black Ice) have been getting popular on the local scene.
2017 results also indicated a decline in organic revenues by 2.8 per cent due to such reduced volume. It dropped from Rwf88.8 billion in 2016 to Rwf86.4 billion in 2017.
Madiela said total capital expenditure in 2017 was Rwf11.3 billion including costs incurred in replacement of packaging materials and the new waste water treatment plant.
He added that their joint venture with Bramin Farm was currently in its fourth year of commercial farming (specialising in maize among other crops) but last year’s drought, infestations and operational issues had an adverse impact on yields.
“In 2017, overall financial performance improved substantially compared to 2016, despite the challenging business environment. With 2018 outlook, we expect to deliver top line growth supported by our new product introductions in the market while cost pressures will continue to be challenging,” he said.
The firm will continue their cost management approach in 2018 and focus on debt reduction.
The brewer recently introduced a number of new products into the market including Primus Citron, Amstel Lite, Affligem Beer, Fanta Citron and Orange 50cl.
“From the income, the company continues to implement social corporate responsibility activities with 283 solar-powered panels systems installed for needy households in Kayonza District,” Madiela added.
Last year, Heineken Intercompany loans were restructured and are now in Francs as opposed to dollars to reduce the forex rate changes impact on their finance costs.
The firm also renegotiated the terms and conditions of their credit facilities with their lenders which has further reduced their net finance cost.