Egypt's Al-Ahram Beverages Company (ABC) on Tuesday announced a 14 percent rise in sales in the first half of this year, compared with the same period last year, on the back of increased production. Sales reached 162 million Egyptian pounds ($46 million dollars) in the first six months of 2000, up from E£143 million ($41 million) in January to June 1999, a company statement said.
ABC, which produces a range of beers and non-alcoholic drinks, said transfering production to a new brewery had enabled it to take advantage of tax holidays on the new facility.
Net income meanwhile was up 11.7 percent over the same timescale to E£45 million ($13 million), with increased distribution expenses.
ABC, which was privatised in 1997 and is listed on the London and Cairo stock exchanges, recently announced a joint venture with Anglo-Dutch consumer group Unilever to start producing Lipton Iced Teas.
The company, Egypt's largest drinks producer, also has agreements to produce Carlsberg and Guinness beers in Egypt.
ABC is hoping for a boom in the beer market in Egypt where only 0.7 litres of beer are consumed per person per year in Egypt, compared to 13.2 litres in Turkey and around six litres in Arab countries like Tunisia and Algeria.
But it faces competition from El-Gouna Beverage Co., which last year started producing two brands of beer, including Lowenbrau under license from the German firm, hoping to grab one quarter of the market from ABC.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )