WINDHOEK, March 18 — Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, has released its performance highlights for the first half of the 2023 financial year. The results show strong growth in net revenue, operating profit, and profit after tax (from continuing operations). However, Namibian volumes remained under pressure due to a subdued economy, while South African beer volumes returned to pre-COVID levels.
NBL saw an 8.7% increase in overall volumes, driven by excellent growth in volumes to Heineken South Africa. Despite tough economic conditions, NBL’s Windhoek Draught brand continued to grow and had a wide reach and strong consumer engagement, outperforming other brands in volume growth. Additionally, AquaSplash, Strongbow, Hansa Draught, and Heineken all performed well over the six months, contributing to positive volume growth compared to the prior year.
NBL experienced significant cost pressures, including a 25% increase in the cost of glass and a 34% increase in the cost of malt. These, combined with higher advertising and promotional spending, resulted in a 0.3% increase in operating profit to N$359 million. Half-year revenue increased by 20.6% to N$2 389 million, driven by strong demand from South Africa, which also contributed to a 29.9% increase in royalty income.
Waldemar von Lieres, NBL Finance Director, noted that overall margin percentages were lower due to the significant increase in South African volumes, which affected the mix of products sold. Heineken South Africa volumes returned to pre-COVID levels, supporting fixed cost absorption and a 29.9% increase in royalty income for the period.
Despite the challenges faced, NBL is well-positioned to defend and grow its market share, given its strong and diverse brand portfolio, pricing strategy, world-class execution, and strong route to market. Managing Director Marco Wenk stated that NBL will continue to focus on cost-effective sourcing, overall business cost management, flexible route-to-market, and innovative sales and consumer engagement initiatives to ensure resilient and improved earnings under continuously challenging market conditions.
Looking ahead, the next few months will bring significant yet exciting changes for NBL and its people. Heineken will drive a detailed integration planning process that will see the business capitalizing on opportunities presented by an expanded portfolio of brands, business synergies, and overall global know-how.
NBL also received a series of gold awards at the 2023 international Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (DLG) Quality Evaluation. Windhoek Lager, Windhoek Draught, Windhoek Non-Alcoholic, and Tafel Lager all received awards, with Windhoek Non-Alcoholic receiving its first gold award, and the other three classified as “DLG – Classics,” having received awards for five consecutive years. – Namibia Daily News