We have extracted the financial summary from the abridged report of Zambian Breweries Plc listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange under the share code ZAMBRW.zm. Zambrew is a producer and distributor of soft drinks and various clear beers Zambia.

The following is an excerpt from the abridged report;

Financial Performance
Our operating profit posted an amazing growth of 340% against prior year as a result of the strong revenue growth mentioned above, the exceptional earnings related to the proceeds from the sale of the soft drinks business, and comparison of one-off costs incurred last year (including voluntary separation payments, spares write-offs and bad debt provisions taken to align with AB InBev accounting policies).

On clear beer profitability, we finished on target with our budget, delivering an operational profit growth of 29% and an excellent 51% EBITA margin. Our superb performance is the result of a new, simpler, leaner and single-minded DREAM, to grow volumes up to 3 Million hectolitres by 2020, and the successful anchoring of our AB InBev ownership culture to manage our costs tightly and to focus on promoting internal talent, resulting in an improvement in people engagement and morale levels.

Investment
In June we launched the latest phase of our US$30 million expansion project in Ndola with the commissioning by the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry of a new packaging line as part of the investment that will allow our Ndola plant to double its production capacity. We have also seen plant upgrades in Lusaka (under a 3-year investment plan), which will ensure sufficient capacity in the pipeline to achieve our volume growth aspirations.

A Promising Outlook
We are braced for a demanding year in 2019, amid economic uncertainty, increased regulation and a continued threat from smuggling and illicit alcohol. On the positive side, the disposal of the Coca-Cola business will enable us to focus on our clear beer objectives, and to reach out to a growing middle class, which remains receptive to our premium brands.

We believe our twin strategy of targeting affordable and premium markets will diversify economic risks and position us well to take advantage of the opportunities. Our strengths lie in our exceptional brand portfolio of both locally brewed and imported beers, and a strong, productive and stable management and workforce, with the expertise and experience to produce world-class beers.

Finally, we would like to extend our gratitude to our consumers, customers, suppliers, farmers, partners in general and shareholders for their inspiration, guidance and support, and to our “Super Thunderous” employees, who dedicate themselves to delivering outstanding results and who embody our core values and principles – we are never completely satisfied with our results, which is the motor of success of our Company.