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Nigerian Breweries Plc, the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria, has reaffirmed its commitment to backward integration substitution of imported raw and packaging materials with local alternatives. According to the company not fewer than 250,000 new jobs have been created through its investment in the Sorghum and Cassava value chain.

Speaking to Financial Journalists at the pre-AGM media briefing held in Lagos on Thursday, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the company, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde explained that the initiative is part of the company’s “Winning with Nigeria” philosophy.

Vervelde also expressed commitment to the development and growth of the country’s economy in spite of the challenging operating environment. He noted that favourable demography, growing middle class and rising urbanisation made the country viable for investment opportunities despite falling oil prices and foreign exchange challenges.

He assured that the company would remain committed to the development and growth of the country through investment in Education, Health and youth empowerment, among others.

Vervelde explained that the company was ready and poised to exploit rising opportunities in the country despite the tough operating environment. He expressed optimism that the company would maintain its leadership position in the industry with strong innovation agenda, strong brand portfolio and cost leadership focus.

Nigerian Breweries, he said, is committed to the development of high yield hybrid sorghum seeds for large scale commercial production to support the agriculture transformation agenda of the federal government,

For the financial year ended December 31, 2015, the company posted a turnover of N293.9 billion from N266.4 billion achieved in the comparative period of 2014, an increase of 10.3 per cent.

The Managing Director/CEO said the 2015 financial year was a very challenging year due to elections/transition period, forex challenges, insecurity, falling oil prices and rising inflation.

Vervelde said the company was able to deliver good results and return on investment due to cost leadership and market leadership supported by strong innovations.

He added that 21.5 per cent of the company’s 2015 revenue came from innovations within the year.

The managing director said the company was working towards achieving 60 per cent local sourcing of its raw materials by 2020, noting that the target would be accomplished before the deadline.

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