East Africans may have some slightly unusual beer-drinking habits--Kenyans like it lukewarm, and Ugandans will drink it through a straw--but as in many other countries around the world, beer is an all-round favourite and this has helped East African Breweries Limited (EABL) thrive.
EABL was founded in 1922 by two white settlers in Kenya and became a public company in 1934. Today it is a holding company owning six companies, amongst them breweries in Kenya and Uganda, and a stake in a brewery in Tanzania.
EABL has its primary listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange where it was the first company in Kenya to exceed the benchmark $1bn market capitalisation in 2005, and cross-listings on the stock markets of neighbouring Uganda since 2001 and Tanzania since 2005.
EABL itself is controlled by Diageo PLC in the UK. The company's brands include a range of beers; Tusker, Tusker Malt, Pilsner, White Cap, Allsopps, Bell and Guinness, and spirits like Johnnie Walker Black Label and Smirnoff.
In early March 2008, EABL announced a 22% increase in its pre-tax profits to $94.85m for the half-year period until 31 December 2007.
At the release of the half-year results, the group's managing director, Gerald Mahinda, noted the efficiency gains from the completed SAP installation.
Kenya accounted for 66% of the group's revenues, but the country's strong contribution...