East African Breweries sells glass making company

East African Breweries Limited (EABL) said on Thursday it had concluded the sale of one its subsidiaries, Central Glass Industries, to South Africa’s Consol Glass Africa Proprietary.

EABL, controlled by Britain’s Diageo, said in April it planned to sell the bottle-making subsidiary subject to the approval of the regulator, the Competition Authority of Kenya, and its shareholders.

EABL did not disclose the sale price.

This comes only two months after the beer maker reported a 36 per cent growth in its full year pretax profit to Sh14.1 billion.

The results were buoyed by double digit growth in spirits, premium beer and ready to drink beverages.

The brewer’s revenue grew by six percent from Sh60.7 billion to Sh64.4 billion.

While making the announcement, EABL Group Managing Director Charles Ireland has said Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and EABL International all recorded sales growths of between 2 and 7 percent.

The company’s board of directors has recommended the payment of a final dividend of 6 shillings per share up from the previous financial year’s final dividend of 5 shillings and 50 cents.

Earlier in July, the company shut down its distribution lines in the Central region after incurring a loss of Sh250 million in the ongoing crackdown of illicit liquor and second generation brews.

Speaking after meeting various distributors in Nyeri, EABL Sales Director Kimani Mwaura announced that they have ceased commercialising their products in the region, claiming that their legitimate business was being targeted.

The director said that the country’s top security agencies had assured them of security during the operation but they ended up being harassed by criminal gangs who hijacked the process.

He said that the company is willing to hold consultations with the National Government so as to come up with the best way forward as far as the fight against lethal brew is concerned.

At the same time, Wamuti Distributor Limited Director Richard Mwangi one of the beer distributors in Nyeri County, demanded that the Government immediately compensate them for the loss they incurred during the raids on their premises failure to which they will seek legal redress.

The operation against illicit liquor and second generation alcohol began on Thursday, a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta met legislators from Central Kenya at State House in Nairobi.

In his pronouncement during the meeting, President Kenyatta banned the sale of second generation liquor and ordered an immediate crackdown to tame the sale of illicit brew in the region.



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