L-R: Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi; Corporate Affairs Director, NB Plc, Sade Morgan; Managing Director, NB Plc, Hans Essaadi; Company Secretary/Legal Director, NB Plc, Uaboi Agbebaku, and Finance Director, NB Plc, Ben Wessels Boer during the 78th Pre-Annual General Meeting Media Briefing of Nigerian Breweries Plc held in Lagos on Wednesday

Nigeria’s market fundamentals remain positive – Nigerian Breweries MD

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By Rukayat Moisemhe

Mr Hans Essaadi, Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, has said that the country’s market fundamentals in 2024 remained positive.

Essaadi said this at the Pre-Annual General Meeting news conference organised by the company on Wednesday in Lagos.

He noted that 2023 was characterised with economic volatilities such as Naira scarcity, fuel subsidy removal, foreign exchange crisis, food inflation, and triple beer excise rate announcement among other challenges.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigerian Breweries Plc, is a pioneer brewing company in Nigeria, and has remained in the forefront of brewing business in the country.

Essaadi added that in the year under review, input-costs driven by fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange, impacted consumer disposable income at an accelerated rate.

He, however, noted that the company, in spite of the rocky terrain, remained resilient by consumer driven innovations, reintroduction of affordable brands, efficient cost saving measures.

Essaadi added that the company deployed intentional stakeholder engagement, heightened consumer experiences, prioritised employee engagement and used pricing mechanisms to partly mitigate inflation and high input cost in 2023.

He further said that the company’s resilience was powered by its evergreen strategy for business growth, profitability and its goal to ultimately deliver shareholder value.

“The outlook for market fundamentals remains positive with positive long-term fundamentals such as rising and young population, urbanisation and the largest economy in Africa.

“However, short-term volatility to manage includes devaluation and high Inflation, insecurity, pressure on disposable consumer spending and the Japa syndrome.

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“Our 2024 recipe for success is hinged on our strong business recovery plan to continued strong cost management and further optimisation of our operational footprint.

“We would continue to leverage our strong portfolio, exciting innovations, delight our customers with exciting new portfolios, while prioritising our employees, communities and stakeholders,” he said.

Mrs Sade Morgan, Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, affirmed the company’s commitment to raising the bar on sustainability and responsibility, with sustainability at the heart of the company’s business.

Morgan said Nigerian Breweries would continue to raise the bar on its “Brew a Better World” agenda, with focus on raising the bar on climate action, accelerating our social sustainability agenda through community impact and addressing harmful use of alcohol.

“We have an N3.6 billion investment in decarbonisation of our footprints and have planted 237,289 trees at Olokomeji forest reserve to restore healthy watersheds.

“Nigerian breweries spent N58 million on addressing harmful use of alcohol by commercial drivers and pregnant women and over 50,000 pregnant women were reached via campaign to discourage alcohol consumption in Abia, Rivers and Oyo States,” she said.

Mr Uaboi Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries, said a set of actions for operational efficiency and financial stability, such as the N600 million right issue and cost saving measures amongst others were underway for 2024.

Addressing the temporary suspension of operations in two breweries in Awo-Omamma, Imo State and Kakuri, Kaduna, Agbebaku stated the company’s commitment to robust support for affected employees.

He stated that though operations were suspended, the company would continue to leave a legacy that cared for the host communities.

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He added that the company was committed to keeping the number of employees affected by the development to the lowest minimum possible with plans to redistribute many of them to the remaining operating breweries.

“It is a temporary suspension and when the economy recovers, we are willing to reopen operations in the affected areas,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa

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