Namibia Breweries relishing in the challenge
While Namibia Breweries may be viewed as a minnow in the wake of SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s recent merger, it is determined to hold its own as it prepares to shake off competition from what is expected to become Africa’s biggest company by market capitalisation.
“While any transaction of this magnitude brings along huge opportunity to leverage strategic synergies and introduce new brands to our market, we have been competing very successfully against SABMiller, who is also a formidable player. Therefore, whilst we are very aware of the increase in the competitive landscape, we are confident in our own strategies, innovation and breakthrough initiatives going forward,” said Namibia Breweries Managing Director Wessie van der Westhuizen confidently.
He added, “we believe our brewing ethos and quality credentials will continue to appeal to the discerning beer drinker, while we will continue to innovate and ensure our offering appeals to the changing needs of our consumers”.
Namibia Breweries released its year-end results recently, posting profit of N$540 million on the back of N$2.4 billion received in turn-over. Commenting on the results, IJG Securities said at the time, “We currently have a “Hold” recommendation on Namibia Breweries and looking forward we remain concerned about the increased competition in the local market to drive margin compression and sales-volume reductions for the business. Expected water shortages in Windhoek remains a risk, while increased leverage from the Sedibeng transaction another risk. Nevertheless, we believe the transaction to be beneficial to the company as a whole, pending further information”.
Meanwhile, SABMiller Namibia Corporate Affairs Manager Maija-Liisa Prinzonsky said, “Operationally we do not anticipate that there will be significant changes in Nambia, or in the African continent more widely, as a result of the combination. We/AB InBev see(s) this as an opportunity to invest in Africa, a region where there are no significant geographical overlaps between our two companies”.