Tanzania unlocks EABL’s bad coronavirus run

Monday February 01 2021

A member of staff at the East African Breweries Ltd factory in Kenya. The company made good profits from its Tanzanian subsidiary. PHOTO | AFP


The Tanzanian market once again had a stellar performance for East African Breweries Ltd (EABL), where the subsidiary registered a double-digit growth.

EABL’s recent acquisition of an additional 30 percent shareholding in Serengeti Breweries Ltd, the second-largest beer company in Tanzania, contributed significantly to its sales growth by 17 per cent for the half-year ended December 2020.

Overall, EABL recorded a net sales decline of three per cent to $3.7 billion for the period of review, but grew by 10 per cent, partially offset by beer net sales decline of eight per cent in the same period last year.

In Kenya, the company recorded a 10 percent sales decline from the same period last year, due to Covid-19 containment measures that led to closure of bars and a ban on sale of alcohol in restaurants in the first quarter.

Uganda delivered net sales growth of 13 per cent from the same period last year. This was driven by leveraging wholesale channels, enlisting new selling points at mini-shops, home deliveries and e-commerce partnerships.

During the year of review, performance was 53 percent higher than the previous half between January to June 2020, which was significantly impacted by Covid-19 restrictions.


EABL Group managing director and CEO Jane Karuku said the company's brands and relationship with their customers helped them to remain in business during the pandemic.

“Throughout the Covid-19 crisis we have ensured a dynamic and close connection with the consumer. Our greatest assets remain our brands and we have been able to adapt to the changing consumer needs while providing safe channels through which they have continued to enjoy our products,” said Ms Karuku.

She added, “We shall remain cautiously optimistic about the second half of the year, not least because the pandemic and potential shifts in our trading environment present risks on the horizon. We will continue to stay close to our consumers, innovate to address the consumer patterns, tightly manage our costs, and with agility reallocate resources to address the dynamic operating environment.”