Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo

Despite the economic downturn that has made most companies to declare less than impressive results, International Breweries Plc has recorded an improvement in its earnings in this half year compare with it performance last year.

Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, Otunba Michael Daramola, said the company has contributed positively to the nation’s economy in his submission at the 39th annual general meeting (AGM) of the company held recently

According to him; International Breweries recorded an improvement in its earnings in this fiscal year over the last one with a 12.7 percent increase from N20, 649,295.00 to N23, 269,364.00. He said the company also made a profit of 18.2% while earnings per share increased from 59kobo in 2015 to 81kobo in 2016, an increase of 37.3%, courtesy its excellent improvement in Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA).

Daramola, who said within the year under review the company continued to focus on investing for the long term and building on their established brands strong position in the South West, said they also expanded their portfolio with the launch of Eagle Lager, 1960 Rootz and Miller Genuine Draft all of which have been exceptionally well accepted by consumers.

The chairman also noted that the company continues to expand its offering of existing brand to leverage occasions and to satisfy consumers’ needs as they have done with the phenomenally successful launch of the Trophy 375ml pack.

Promising customers to always get best out of products coming from the company, Otunba Daramola stressed the company’s readiness to keep the business focused, saying they would not deter from stretching the corporate scorecards in spite of the deteriorated economic situation.

He said: “the year under review has been both exciting and challenging with our country facing an extremely tough economic landscape. We have experienced inflationary pressures, foreign exchange liquidity issues and consumers have also been faced with severe fuel shortage and long power outages.

“This and the nonpayment of civil servant salaries have had a material impact on our consumers’ disposable income. As a result, competition in the brewing industry has intensified significantly. However a challenging environment often provides opportunity and we have ensured that we have taken advantage of as many of the opportunities we have created, or been presented with, as possible.”

“We will continue to strive to live our core value of ‘People are our enduring advantage’ and the current financial performance can be attributed to the constant exceptional spirit of commitment, dedication and passion of our work force throughout our organisation.

“We have modeled essential skills over the years and focused on retaining talented people. We have built competency frameworks through our International model which has proved very successful. This has provided development opportunities through exchange programmes and secondments for some of our employees in our sister Companies.”

While emphasising on the achievement of the company under the youths empowerment programme, Daramola said in the spirit of giving back to the society, 25youths from across the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria have been empowered so as to be self-employed.

According to him, “within the last fiscal year, we launched our Kick start programme which was aimed at empowering our youth to develop enterprises and create employment. The programme ran over the entire fiscal year and involved the training of 120 youths selected from thousands of entries and culminated in an awards luncheon which saw 25 youths awarded grants to empower them to grow their enterprise”.

He, however, expressed optimism that the company would continue to grow despite the economic and market challenges that present themselves to Nigerian. He also promised that the company will grow in line its strategic views, increasing volumes and profitability supported by sound capital investment initiatives and at the same time deliver value to all our stakeholders.

“The year under review witnessed a significant milestone in environmental compliance with the commissioning of our effluent treatment plant which will ensure that all water returned to the environment will have no negative impact on it. We also understand that our profitability depends on communities, growing economies and the responsible use of scarce natural resources. We have integrated these issues into our business through the launch of Prosper and the introduction of our five shared imperatives.”

“The Board has ensured that a robust governance structure is in place to enable the business to succeed and deliver long-term sustainable growth. As part of this responsibility, the Board has set up a Committee on Risk Management to further give direction to foreseeable challenges in the business and best possible approaches to mitigate them.”

He therefore, urged other Directors, management and staff of the company to continue to work assiduously in a bid to continually improve the organisation as well as stretch the company’s corporate scorecards so as to protect their license to trade in the years ahead.