Beverages maker Bralirwa registered a 19.8 per cent decline in after-tax profits of Rwf6.1 billion during the first half of the year compared to Rwf7.6 billion recorded over a similar period last year.
In a financial statement released over the weekend, Jonathan Hall, the Bralirwa managing director, attributed the decline to a decrease in soft drinks sales, which declined by 8 per cent “because of reduced exports”.
However, the brewer’s revenues grew by 2.3 per cent to Rwf37.8 billion, from Rwf37 billion in the same period last year.
The volumes sold also increased from 783,000 hectolitres last year to 805,000 hectolitres between January and June 30, 2014.
Hall said the growth in revenue was driven by a positive ‘sales mix’ and the impact of marginal price increases for the Mutzig and Turbo King beer brands in the last half of 2013.
He noted that increases in prices of raw materials and the effects of the franc depreciation had a toll on the business.
He added the high costs were absorbed with no price increase on either beer or soft drinks over the reporting period.
Hall said investments in the brewery and soft drinks plants have resulted in increased depreciation charges, noting that the company anticipates a similar volume growth trend in the second half of the year.
The firm commissioned a $34 million soft drinks plant in June to boost earnings from beverages whose domestic market is broadly flat, according to Hall.