• Revenue N$2.65 billion, up by 0.10%
• Operating profit N$613 million, up by 35.2%
• Profit after tax N$373 million, up by 42.8%
• Earnings per share 180.7 cents, up by 42.8%
• Interim dividend per ordinary share 56 cents, up by 5.7%
Namibia Breweries Limited’s (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – beer volumes in Namibia for 2021 increased by 13 % against 2020, almost matching those achieved in 2019 – being only 2% lower in comparison. Overall volumes during 2020 decreased by 16.6% compared to 2019. Volumes in 2020 were predominately affected by trade restrictions, as a result of the pandemic across most of NBL’s markets. Production volumes to South Africa continued to be severely constrained due to alcohol bans and trade restrictions in South Africa, falling by 36% against 2020 and 51% against 2019.
Heineken South Africa experienced further trade restrictions during the reporting period, which impacted volumes as well as royalties and resulted in a revenue decrease for NBL of 18.5% to N$1 386 million.
The Group paid an interim dividend during May 2021 amounting to 56c per share. This represented a 5.7% increase compared to the prior year interim dividend.
On 29 September 2021 shareholders were referred to the cautionary announcements dated 18 May 2021, 29 June 2021, 11 August, 23 September 2021 and 29 September 2021 relating to the approach by Heineken N.V. (“Heineken”) to potentially acquire the majority of Distell Group Holdings Limited’s (“Distell”) business (“the Potential Distell Transaction”) and the potential impact it could have on NBL and its business.
Shareholders were advised that Heineken has also made an offer to NBL to acquire its 25% shareholding in Heineken South Africa (RF) Proprietary Limited (“HSA”) (“the Potential HSA Transaction”), which would be inter-conditional on the Potential Distell Transaction. Shareholders are referred to the SENS (the stock exchange news services of the JSE Limited) announcement released by Distell on 29 September 2021 regarding an update on the Potential Distell Transaction.
The Potential HSA Transaction, should it proceed, is subject to several conditions, one of which relates to NBL not making any distributions, including a dividend declaration, to its shareholders in respect of the financial year ended 30 June 2021. In light of this, the Board has taken a decision not to declare a final dividend for the financial year ended 30 June 2021.
Shareholders were advised that there was no certainty that all the remaining aspects will be successfully resolved and agreed. In the event that discussions regarding the Potential HSA Transaction are terminated, the Board intends to declare a dividend in respect of the financial year ended 30 June 2021.
NBL believes that it will be in a position to provide more detailed information to shareholders on the Potential HSA Transaction in the near future.
NBL Managing Director (MD), Marco Wenk: “2021 beer volumes increased by 13% against 2020 while almost matching 2019 volumes. 2021 saw a 35.2% growth in operating profit which was mainly attributed to our continued drive for cost effective sourcing, overall business cost management, innovative and flexible route-to-market as well as sales initiatives. This, together with continuous customer and consumer engagement, ensured resilient and improved earnings under challenging market conditions in most of our trading countries. Our Windhoek Draught brand has shown exceptional growth within our mainstream beer category taking the top position in NBL’s brand portfolio during 2021.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 related alcohol bans and trade restrictions in South Africa (SA), adversely impacted NBL’s overall volume and profitability performance mainly due to significantly lower volumes sent to South Africa. Although COVID-19 did impact our export markets, favourable exchange rates allowed us to absorb this impact.
We are exceptionally proud of the dedication of NBL’s team during a challenging year, in which we also celebrated our 100-year Centenary during October 2020. Given our strong and diverse brand portfolio, strong route to market, as well as world class execution, NBL is well positioned to defend and grow its market share while capitalising on any future growth opportunities.
Windhoek Lager, Windhoek Draught and Tafel Lager received gold medals at the 2021 international Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (DLG) Quality Evaluation. Windhoek Non-Alcoholic and Windhoek Lite received silver medals.
NBL Finance Director, Waldemar von Lieres: “Our performance in Namibia for the 2021 financial year was very encouraging despite COVID-19 restrictions. Beer volumes in Namibia delivered positive growth, overall margins were strong due to good price and overall business cost management. Despite Heineken South Africa experiencing severe trade restrictions during the reporting period, royalties for NBL increased by 5.8%, while the equity loss from associate decreased from a loss of N$76 million last year to a loss of N$73 million this year.”
Wenk concluded: “We expect steady performance for our core portfolio in the F22, anchored by our Windhoek and Tafel branded beers. NBL will continue to focus on further growing existing brands while also innovating into new and exciting liquids based on consumer preferences and demand. Trade execution and relationships, route-to-market and operational efficiencies will receive significant focus while we continue to support and adhere to all regulations and directives to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We expect our South African performance to stabilize and return to normality once trade restrictions have been reasonably lifted.
Although trading conditions will continue to impact our business in F22, NBL continues to be resilient and we remain committed to finding every growth opportunity possible while appreciating our role as an industry leader towards responsible and safe behaviour.