Well-equipped to weather the economic storm
As a member of the President’s economic advisory panel, I am highly attuned to the fact that our country is currently facing challenging economic times. Yet, I am confident in the endless opportunities to turn our economic climate towards serving the ideals of Government’s Vision 2030 and the Harambee National Prosperity Plan.
There are indicators that predict an upturn in the beer industry. Although this is not yet visible, we are starting to see patches of green sprouts as Namibian beer volumes are starting to show growth for the first time in more than two years.
Enhancing business and brewing
Using water to produce beer during a drought, which limits water availability for livestock and human consumption, requires trade-offs that take into account all stakeholders. NBL is committed to responsible strategic decisions involving the water crisis, as these potentially have far-reaching impacts for the local economy.
With our investment in the development of boreholes on our premises, we are geared to extract a substantial amount of water from this source, which alleviates supply pressure on the city.
The Heineken partnership delivered great returns
We identified the game-changing potential of this relationship in 2003. This successful partnership has resulted in a significant volume growth in the full Heineken portfolio in South Africa, particularly for beer and cider, with a multiplier effect in financial terms: our share of associate shifted from a N$155 million loss in 2017 to a N$451 million profit in 2019 (N$335 million recognition of deferred tax asset and N$116 million share of associate profit).
On a personal and strategic level, our relationship with Heineken remains strong. Our long-term, family-oriented thinking and cultures are very similar and show up in the way we attend to business as both parties are focused on people and quality.
New leadership with our next strategy cycle
Inspired by our purpose, Creating a Future, Enhancing Life and our value, We Grow People, our purposeful journey requires a winning team made up of the right skill set in the right position. Looking at what the future holds, and reflecting on the amazing work done by our colleagues in the O&L Group, I am excited and confident that our recent leadership changes and appointments are a step in the right direction as we aim for 2025.
Using water to produce beer during a drought, which limits water availability for livestock and human consumption, requires trade‑offs that take into account all stakeholders. NBL is committed to responsible strategic decisions involving the water crisis, as these potentially have far-reaching impacts for the local economy.
Following the retirement of O&L Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Peter Grüttemeyer, NBL Managing Director Wessie van der Westhuizen moved to this position and NBL Finance Director Graeme Mouton took on the role of Managing Director at Pick n Pay (PnP) from 1 July 2019. In turn, we welcomed previous Broll Namibia Managing Director, Marco Wenk to the helm of NBL and Waldemar von Lieres, previous Finance Director at PnP, as NBL Finance Director.
These changes herald the beginning of a new strategy cycle, aimed at bringing fresh ideas and new perspectives to the Group’s breakthrough strategy which will retain a strong focus on people. We are committed to make a significant investment in discovering genius – the root of best performance – by establishing the balance between creating amazing employee experiences while ensuring business sustainability through high performance expectations. At NBL we have created an environment where trust and affinity are at high levels, which means we can have tough discussions that lead to breakthrough results and empowerment of our employees.
Shaping a shared future
The O&L Group has created a network of people and brands in the southern African region that all contribute to our purpose, Creating a Future, Enhancing Life. NBL’s role is shaped by the myriad ways in which we are giving back to our stakeholders and communities at large through our corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Our shareholders benefit from responsible dividends: the NBL Board considers these by balancing a progressive dividend policy against the needs of the business and other stakeholders. The Board declared a final dividend of 50 cents per ordinary share to bring the total dividend for 2019 to 100 cents, in addition, a special dividend of 121.05 cents was also declared (2018: 92 cents, in addition to a special dividend of 193.67 cents). Payment will be made to shareholders of ordinary shares registered in the books of the Company at close of business on 4 October 2019 and will be paid on 8 November 2019.
We appreciate the confidence and trust of our shareholders, the support of our customers and business partners, including the Government, and the breakthrough efforts of our employees. With these relationships, and the support of our loyal consumers, we look forward to a new vision for 2025.