SABMiller to expand Southern Sudan operations
20 August 2010
SABMiller plc [SAB:LSE/SAB:JNB] subsidiary company Southern Sudan Beverages Ltd (SSBL) has announced that it is doubling the size of its existing brewery operations in Juba and has introduced a soft drinks range and bottled water product into the country.
By the end of 2010, brewery operations will have increased to 350,000 hectolitres (hl) from its initial 180,000hl capacity at opening in May 2009. The original US$37m investment created employment for hundreds of Sudanese and created a pioneering land lease agreement between SABMiller plc and the local Juba community that ensured they receive royalties from the development.
The brewery will continue producing White Bull lager and Chairman's Extra Strong Beer in addition to beginning production of two of SABMiller's existing brands Nile Special Lager and Club Pilsner. Carbonated soft drink (CSD) capacity will also be increased from 60,000hl to 320,000hl in response to the initial popularity of SSBL's Club Minerals Sparkling Soft Drinks range and Source Pure Drinking Water.
Ian Alsworth-Elvey, Managing Director of SSBL said "Many people questioned our logic in building not only the first brewery that Southern Sudan had seen for 50 years but also the first manufacturing facility in Juba. However, the business has had a very warm welcome to the country and our beer, soft drinks and water brands have found real traction with consumers. These products are comparable to any in the world and offer a local, high quality product at an affordable price.
"We have sold more beer in the first three months of our second year of operation than we did in the first nine months since production began and in 18 months we have turned the brand into one of the most recognisable in the country."
Earlier this year SABMiller won nearly $1 million funding from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) to introduce an innovative local sourcing model for cassava which will provide the ingredients from which beer will be brewed. SABMiller is partnering with leading NGO, FARM-Africa, to implement the initiative which would bring direct and significant long-term market opportunities for around 2,000 smallholder farmers with dependants and other employment effects ensuring approximately 15,600 people could benefit in three years.
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie. SABMiller is also one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products.
In the year ended 31 March 2010, the group reported US$3,803 million adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of US$26,350 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
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