INTERNATIONAL – East African Breweries aims to jumpstart growth in sales of bottled beer in Kenya, as its biggest market’s economy recovers and the government looks set to hold off on tax increases, its chief executive said on Friday.
The brewer, which is controlled by Britain’s Diageo and is known for its Tusker beer, said sales of bottled beer were flat in the first half of the year to December after the government raised excise duty by 5.2 percent.
Kenya, which contributes 70 percent of annual revenue, has taxed beer and cigarettes heavily to boost government coffers
The government raised excise duty on beer by 43 percent at the end of 2015, hitting demand for EABL’s beer.
Chief executive Andrew Cowan said he “... wouldn’t expect to see the government doing unpredictable things. I don’t see the government going back to that space.”
Kenya has one of the highest rates of tax on beer on the continent. Tusker has a recommended retail price of 150 shillings ($1.49) per bottle, with close to half going to the taxman.