Board changes imminent at NBL

Board changes are imminent at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) after Heineken NV finalised its acquisition of a 50.01% stake in the biggest brewer in the country, a development that now gives it control of the business which it already had a 49.99% interest. 

The changes to the brewer are supposed to reflect the ownership change in the business, with the current management  to remain unchanged after Heineken received final regulatory approval from the South African Competition Tribunal to acquire control of Distell Group Holdings Limited and Namibian Breweries, paving the way for the establishment of a regional African beverage giant. 

“The next months will see a significant yet exciting change for NBL and its people, with an announcement set for 13 April 2023,” NBL Managing Director Marco Wenk said on Friday. 

The current NBL board consists of Sven Thieme, who was appointed in March 2002 and elected Chairperson on 11 July 2002 and is made up of 10 members including Khomas Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua who was appointed in April 2012. 

Wenk said the detailed integration process will be driven by Heineken to capture the opportunities of an expanded portfolio of brands. 

“A bigger team and more occasions to meet consumer demand.NBL will start implementing plans to create capacity for more manufacturing in Namibia as it migrates from beer to a multiple-beverage category. There will be a strong focus on optimisation, driving a combined supply chain, and using data as well as systems and processes to ensure efficiency and compliance," he said. 

Meanwhile, NBL showed resilience in a highly subdued economy, with half-year revenue increasing by 20.6% to N$2.4 billion on the back of strong demand from South Africa, which also contributed to a 29.9% increase in royalty income. 

“This is despite significantly reduced consumer spending on the back of rising prices for basic goods and services, higher interest rates, a 6.9% increase in inflation and a 22% increase in fuel prices,” Wenk said. 

Under current conditions, he said consumers remain mindful about what they spend their money on, while continuing to switch between beverage categories. 

"NBL experienced significant cost pressures, which included a 25% increase in the cost of glass and a 34% increase in the cost of malt. Combined with higher advertising and promotional spending, this resulted in a 0.3% increase in operating profit to N$359 million," he said. 

“Windhoek Draught pushed ahead as Namibia’s leading beer brand, outperforming other brands in volume growth. It was also the star performer in South Africa, where it is positioned as a premium brand.” 

Meanwhile , no interim dividend was declared in accordance with the conditions of the Heineken Transaction. 

As part of the Heineken Transaction, the special dividend payment of N$26.35 will be paid to shareholders when the disposal of the investment in Heineken SA becomes unconditional. 

"Subject to the disposal becoming unconditional, holders of ordinary shares will be entitled to the Special Dividend, with the Last day to Trade being 30 March 2023, and payment date being 14 April 2023" said Wenk. 

Heineken has over 300 international, regional, local, and specialty beers and ciders in its portfolio, while Namibian Breweries Limited is one of Namibia's leading beverage manufacturing companies, with a significant share of the premium beer category in Southern Africa and over 800 employees.


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Last modified on Monday, 20 March 2023 16:59

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