Zambian Breweries Plc has posted increased of profits after tax of K193 million in the half-year period ending June 30, 2019, partly triggered by increased sales in clear beer.

And Zambian Breweries says that despite Zambia’s ongoing economic challenges, the rapid growth of the middle-class remains an opportunity, particularly in their premium brands segment.

In a statement announcing its unaudited results of the company for the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, Zambian Breweries posted an increased profit of K193 million after tax in the six-month period ending June 30 from K137.7 million in the same corresponding period last year, mainly driven by huge clear beer volume growth, which increased by 5.1 per cent over the two corresponding periods under review.

“Clear beer volumes grew 5.1 per cent supported by strong growth in Carling Black Label and Castle Lite brands, which grew 131 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively. Profit before tax grew by 12 per cent, despite the Coca Cola business divesture due to the company’s continued cost control measures and once off costs in the 2018 base. Further growth resulted from the savings realised on borrowing costs following the full liquidation of interest-bearing debt and almost nil utilization of overdraft facilities,” Zambian Breweries stated.

And the brewer added that it remained optimistic about the future despite Zambia’s challenging macroeconomic outlook.

“Despite these challenges, the rapid growth of Zambia’s middle-class remains an opportunity, particularly in the premium brands segment. Our strong and diversified portfolio of brands remains the consumer’s first choice. Our brand portfolio and our unrivalled distribution strategy will enable us to deliver our growth targets. The company will continue investing ahead of the curve and upgrading its clear beer capacity to enhance growth. This is part of the company’s 3-year plan capital expenditure strategy in line with the AB-Inbev group Africa growth strategy,” stated Zambian Breweries.

Zambian Breweries Plc is a subsidiary of AB InBev, the Belgium-based brewer, which took over ownership of SABMiller in a US $100 million deal back in 2016, and assumed new ownership of Zambian and National Breweries Plc.

Ab InBev also manufacturers the globally-renowned Stella Artois and Budweiser beer brands, among others.