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Nigerian Breweries loses N106.31bn, says Nigerians can no longer afford beer

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Hans Essaadi, the Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries Plc, has disclosed that the economic condition in Nigeria has worsened to a point where citizens can no longer afford to buy beer. The CEO said this during the company’s investor call on Monday following the release of its 2023 results.

Essaadi told investors in Lagos:

“It has been an unprecedented year for our business in Nigeria. We saw a significant decline in the mainstream lager market as a result of Nigerian consumers no longer being able to afford a Goldberg after a hard day’s work.”

The firm, just like its Nigerian customers, has been shaken by the recent realities of the Nigerian economy. Its financial report revealed an N153bn foreign exchange loss due to the devaluation of the naira in late 2023.

Despite revenue growth of 8.9% to N599.64 billion, the company faced a net loss of N106.31 billion in 2023. This starkly contrasts the firm’s N13.19 billion gain recorded at the close of 2022. Contributors to this loss include high input costs, reorganisation expenses, and foreign exchange loss.

The NB Board of Directors said: “The Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023 with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide. The redesign of the naira notes, which resulted in a cash shortage severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide, set the tone for a turbulent year.

“High double-digit inflation rates (with food inflation at more than 30 per cent), removal of subsidy on the premium motor spirit (fuel), devaluation of the naira, and foreign exchange scarcity further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.”

NB recently unveiled revised drink prices effective February 19 to navigate Nigeria’s economic hardships. In a letter from the Zonal Business Manager, Lekan Awosanya, the company expressed gratitude for ongoing partnerships and assured delivery at existing prices for fully funded open orders placed before February 19, 2024.

The new price list includes:

  • GULDER at N950
  • STAR at N850
  • 33 EXTRA at N850
  •  HEINEKEN at N1300
  • LIFE at N850
  • LEGEND at N1250
  • TIGER at N750.

Despite a 15% dip in operating profit, the NB board expressed readiness to leverage the company’s 77 years of experience in Nigeria to weather macroeconomic challenges.

 

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