Rwanda’s bubbling brewer – profits soar 63%

Rwanda’s biggest brewer, the Brasseries et Limonaderies du Rwanda BRALIRWA (www.bralirwa.com), says post-tax profit leapt by 62.8% in 2010, driven by increased sales, higher pricing and improved cost management. BRALIRWA was the first listing on the Rwanda Stock Exchange which opened on 31 January.
BRALIRWA’s Initial Public Offer (IPO) last November was 174% oversubscribed. It has encouraged Government to push ahead with privatization plans outlined in the current 5-year plan.
According to a report on Reuters,Chief Executive Officer Sven-Erik Piederiet said in a statement on Tuesday: “I am confident that BRALIRWA remains well positioned to capitalise on the attractive growth opportunities in Rwanda.”
Net profit for the year to 31 December increased 63% to RWF 10.3 billion ($17.5 million) against the previous year (RWF 6.34bn)and in a press release the company says this was “driven by robust operating profit growth, lower interest expense and lower income tax expense”. EBIT was up 49.2% “driven by a strong volume performance, higher pricing and effective cost management”. Revenues were up 16% to RWF 52.8 bn through a 13% rise in volumes and higher prices. The brewer is well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities. Earnings per share jumped 62.8% in 2010 to 20.09 francs. Despite the growth plans, the company recommended a 100% payout with a dividend of RWF 20.09 per share, up from RWF 12.34.
BRALIRWA shares closed on 17 May at RWF 228, up 68% on the January launch price of RWF 136, according to a report in New Times newspaper, the price climbed by RWF 21 that day, as investors anticipated the dividends.
BRALIRWA, majority owned by Heineken, is Rwanda’s oldest brewery. It has rights to produce brands such as Guinness and Amstel and branded soft drinks such as Coca Cola. Its main brand is Primus.
Jean Paul Van Hollebeke, Chairman of BRALIRWA’s Board of Directors, said that the brewer achieved compounded average growth in net profit of 56.1% over the period 2007-2010, demonstrating the successful implementation of strategic initiatives. He said a strong operational focus on top-line growth and disciplined cost management, combined with a favourable economic environment and the consistent implementation of constructive government policies drove a robust profit: “BRALIRWA was able to deliver the strong performance owing to a continuous focus on our core values, the talent and commitment of our people, the strength of our brands, the partnerships with our distributors and our ambition to continue to lead the market and promote profitable future growth.”
Rwanda Stock Exchange Operations Manager Celestin Rwabukumba was quoted saying the perception of local investors of the market is now positive because of its transparency, something likely to influence future Initial Public Offerings (IPOs): “It does provide serious confidence in the market and it is likely to influence other companies that may want to list.”

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