Silver lining for Bralirwa in lockdown as beer sales go up

Friday April 09 2021

Bralirwa Plc has reported a 7.2 percent increase in beer sales, signalling an increase in consumption of alcohol during the lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGE


Bralirwa Plc has reported a 7.2 percent increase in beer sales, signalling an increase in consumption of alcohol during the lockdown.

The company attributed the increase in sales to its focus on expanding retail outlets including Boutiques, mini-markets, supermarkets and restaurants.

Figures released by Bralirwa last week show that its performance was largely driven by increased beer volume sales (7.2 percent ) though revenue was 0.2 per cent slightly lower than last year at Rwf 100.5 billion compared to Rwf 100.6 billion.

“In 2020, the overall top line results slightly increased compared to 2019 driven by beer volume but offset by Soft Drinks volume decline.

Revenue management combined with a focus on cost savings initiatives as well as operational efficiencies significantly impacted positively the operating results.

However, to drive sustainable performance, we continued to invest in our people, brands, capacity, sustainabili ty and digital solutions,” said Merid Demissie, Bralirwa’s managing director in a press statement.


The company’s income increased by 655.6 per cent to Rwf 9 billion compared to Rwf 1.2 billion in 2019. As a result, it’s earnings per share has now increased to Rwf 8.75 compared with Rwf 1.16 recorded in 2019. Capital expenditure in 2020 increased to Rwf 14.6 billion compared with Rwf 12.5 billion recorded in 2019, largely driven by expansion of its brewhouse and fermentation and storage tanks’ projects initiated in 2020.

However, the company experienced a sharp decline in its soft drink sales which decreased by 19.1 per cent versus last year mainly as a result of measures against the spread of Covid-19.

Specifically, restrictions on social and public gatherings such as weddings and funerals imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic affected demand for soft drinks. While Bralirwa continues to dominate the market with at least 70 percent of market share, it is facing stiff competition from Skol Brewery Rwanda, which is owned by Belgium’s Unibra which is targeting to grow its market share to at least 20 per cent by increasing its distribution points.

For instance, in December 2018, Skol launched its 5.5 per cent ABV Skol Select brand. The brand retails at Rwf700 ($0.80) per bottle. For its part, Bralirwa says it will continue to focus on innovation and reduce costs. “A continued focus on cost saving combined with operational efficiencies resulted in an improved Gross Profit which increased by 3.8 per cent.

Operating result increased by 85.9 percent to Rwf 19.8 billion compared with Rwf 10.7 billion recorded in 2019.