Nigeria: International Breweries first-half results affected by Covid-19 pandemic
International Breweries Plc (IB Plc), a proud part of the AB InBev family, the worlds largest brewer, has announced its unaudited results for its half-year period ended June 30th 2020, the Guardian reported on July 29.
The result, which was just released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), reflected the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on Nigeria.
As part of the companys proactive measures, the cost of sales maintained a downward trend within the quarter. This was coupled with the stringent cost controls implemented at the beginning of the year and strengthening its credit modalities to better position the company for a return to competitive growth.
While the quarter may not have ended robust enough, the results show that the company made significant progress in some other critical areas as enumerated above which further demonstrates its commitment to build a company that will last by consolidating on the strategies being implemented to get it back on the path to profitability with better returns on investment for its shareholders. In addition, International Breweries continue to gain market share which has propelled it to No 2 position in Nigerias beer sub-sector.
Meanwhile, the company held its 43rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at the Legend Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. The meeting was held by proxy, in strict compliance with social distancing rules and directives of both the Federal and Lagos state governments.
The AGM by Proxy as approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission was held virtually and shareholders had the opportunity to vote on all the resolutions presented before the meeting, under the In-Chair of Mr. Michael Ajukwu, a Non-Executive Director. The meeting was live-streamed on YouTube giving access to key stakeholders to be part of the meeting and indicative of the Companys transparency.
Addressing the shareholders at the AGM, Mr. Michael Ajukwu appreciated the continued support of the shareholders despite the prevailing challenging economic environment. Ajukwu explained that The Company has witnessed several progressive changes: from a merger to capital restructuring and balance sheet deleveraging, capacity expansion and all the challenges associated with dollar-denominated loans. We owe it to you, our shareholders for being supportive of the Company and believing in our dream and our people.
Continuing, Mr Ajukwu said, While the 2019 financials is historical, we have delivered consistently in revenue growth, and have touched the lives of the communities where we operate. Your concerns shared today are well noted and they already form part of the take-up points in our strategic decisions, particularly on further deleveraging our balance sheet and other aspects of our business. Our commitment to financial discipline is highly intense as we are determined to ensure sustained and steady growth in the companys operations to achieve improved returns on investments.
The shareholders were informed of the Boards recent approval of the appointment of Mr. Hugo Rocha as the substantive Managing Director. Commenting on the appointment, Mr. Ajukwu noted that the seamless transition is as a result of deliberate succession planning by the Board, in line with its commitment to strong corporate governance standards. In the past months, Mr.Rochas has distinguished himself in service to the organization and contributed immensely to the overall growth of the business.
Speaking on IB Plcs financial performance, the Finance Director, Mr. Bruno Zambrano said, We have a dream to lead in this market and we have what it takes to achieve it. We have grown our volumes year-on-year and have continued to gain market share. During and post the COVID pandemic, we will be more agile and flexible to the ever-changing operational environment, with innovation dominating the fabric of our value chain processes.
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