Nigerian Breweries Plc, the first and foremost brewer in Nigeria, has reiterated commitment to sustaining its position as the leading beverage company in Nigeria. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde stated this at a pre-Annual General Meeting, AGM interaction with financial journalists in Lagos on Thursday.
Vervelde explained that favourable demography, growing middle class and rising urbanisation made the market look attractive for the company’s brands despite the current purchasing power challenges. He expressed optimism that the company would maintain its leadership position in the industry with strong innovation agenda, strong brand portfolio and cost leadership focus.
Nigerian Breweries Plc has a rich portfolio of high quality brands: Star Lager beer was launched in 1949, followed by Gulder Lager beer in 1970. Maltina, the nourishing malt drink, was introduced in 1976, followed by Legend Extra Stout in 1992 and Amstel Malta in 1994.
Heineken Lager beer was re-launched into the Nigerian market in 1998. Maltina Sip-it, packaged in Tetrapaks was launched in 2005, while Fayrouz, the premium non-alcoholic soft drink, was launched in 2006. Climax, a herbal energy drink was launched in 2010. Following the acquisition of Sona and Life Breweries in 2011, Goldberg lager, Malta Gold and Life Continental lager, were added to the brand portfolio.
The company increased its portfolio of brands in 2014 with the addition of Ace Passion in addition to two line extension of the Star brand – Star Lite and Star Radler
Analysts agree that Nigerian Breweries is the market leader, controlling about two thirds of the lager market in Nigeria. Nigerian Breweries’ products are distributed across the country through seven major cities: Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Ibadan, Kaduna, Aba and Benin.
Vervelde informed the journalists that the company has strengthened its consumer bonding and engagement and activities through forms of activations and activities. For instance, Gulder consumers were rewarded with various prizes in the Gulder Ultimate Promotion. The company also achieved a milestone when it launched the Gulder’s World’s largest Poster in Enugu. Also, consumers across the country were treated to the biggest and the best of Nigerian music stars as well as upcoming ones in the 2015 edition of Star Music.
The company equally promoted indigenous arts, culture and heritage via the sponsorships of the Umu Oganiru Cannival by Life Continental Beer, the Osun Osogbo Festival by Golberg lager and the Ojude Oba Festival by Golberg and Maltina.
Verlvelde revealed that excellent performance of the brands came with harvest of laurels in 2015. For Instance, Star was voted the “Brand of the Year at the Brand as King Award. Golberg, Life Continental and Star each received the seal of quality at the prestigious “Monde Selection (Quality) ceremonies.
For the financial year ended December 31, 2015, the company posted a turnover of N293.9 billion from N266.4 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2014, an increase of 10.3 per cent.
Vervelde said 21.5 per cent of the company’s 2015 revenue came from innovations which led to introduction of new products into the market, adding that the company was able to deliver good results and return on investment due to cost leadership and market leadership supported by strong innovations.