Nigerian Breweries Plc’s turnover dropped by N18 billion to N152 billion in first half of the year as Nigeria’s largest brewer continued to struggle with macroeconomic headwinds, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key extracts of the interim report and accounts of Nigerian Breweries for the six-month period ended June 30 showed that turnover declined to N152 billion in first half of the year as against N170 billion recorded in comparable period of 2019. Net profit closed first half of the year at N5.7 billion.

Directors of the company stated that the half-year results for the 2020 financial year showed a strong balance sheet despite several factors that negatively impacted on the company’s operations.

They listed macroeconomic headwinds against the company to include in Excise Duty, a rise in inflation, an increase in value added tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent in as well as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses worldwide.

“Despite these challenges, the company’s financial position shows stability and sustained profitability,” the board stated.

The company stated that in support of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the company, during the first half made various donations in cash and kind valued at about N531 million out of a phased commitment of N600 million to the Federal and State Governments’ Covid-19 relief funds.

The board of directors commended the Company’s management for its efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the business, as well as the prudent management of its resources as reflected in a 7.0 per cent reduction in expenses incurred on marketing, distribution, and administration.

“The board expressed confidence that the company is well-positioned to continue to deliver return on investment to shareholders,” the board stated.

The board assured that the priority of the company management during this pandemic period remains ensuring the health, safety and welfare of employees, customers and partners.

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