Africa and the Middle East Review by region Africa In Africa we own a number of breweries that hold substantial market shares in various countries. The breweries produce local brands and in a number of countries Amstel as well. In addition, most of the companies produce soft drinks. In some countries Heineken, Amstel or Miitzig are brewed under licence and marketed by third parties. Imported Heineken, available on a modest scale, grew once again. On the whole, 2000 was a reasonable year for Heineken in Africa. In a number of countries the political and economic situation improved and sales of beer and soft drinks recovered. In Nigeria Heineken acquired a majority interest in Nigerian Breweries, the market leader in that country. In central Africa, especially in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Angola, our breweries once again had to operate under adverse political and economic conditions. The profitability remained at the level of 1999. We are placing increasing emphasis on the training of our local personnel and the reinforcement of our organizations. In particular much has been invested in Africa in educating and training our employees. This approach contributed to better performances in our African companies in spite of the sometimes difficult working conditions. An additional goal of this training is reinforcement of the Heineken culture in the organizations in Africa. Last year a programme to study health and safety aspects was set up in all our companies. At the moment plans for optimization are being prepared for each location. The investments made to modernize our breweries and soft drinks facilities have been substan tially increased. As a result, the efficiency of our breweries improved. We updated and standardized procedures and systems in every part of our organization. The improvements implemented were backed up by education and training. In this context great progress has been made in reducing water and power consumption. As part of our environmental policy all the breweries in Africa will in the next few years be equipped with a wastewater treatment plant. At the end of December we increased our interest in Nigerian Breweries in Nigeria to 54% by converting a loan which had been granted to finance investments for modernizing and expanding the breweries. From 1 January 2001 Nigerian Breweries will be fully consolidated in our annual accounts. The beer market in Nigeria has a size of more than 7 million hectolitres and is the second largest beer market in Africa. The beer market expanded thanks to the improving economy, although the reintroduction of excise duties on beer at the start of 2000 caused a slowdown in growth. Nigerian Breweries increased its sales and market share considerably, with sales of lager and malt beers in particular rising. Its prof itability also increased. Another Nigerian brewing group, Consolidated Breweries, appointed Heineken as a technical con sultant. As part of the agreement we participated in a share issue, through which we acquired a 23% interest in Consolidated Breweries. The political and economic situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo showed no im provement. Nonetheless, our subsidiary Bralima succeeded in raising its sales of beer and soft drinks. Sweeping government price controls and fierce competition had an adverse effect on prof itability, however. The peace agreement in Burundi opens the way for economic recovery. The economy has suf fered badly from the trade embargo and the political situation in recent years. In 2000 we finally received permission to adjust selling prices to the rising costs, but the increase was not enough to realize a better profitability. The situation in Congo improved considerably following the unrest of the last few years. Brasseries du Congo achieved higher sales and improved its profitability. HEINEKEN N V. ANNUAL REPORT 2000 35

Jaarverslagen en Personeelsbladen Heineken

Jaarverslagen | 2000 | | pagina 45