East African Breweries stock declines to a 52-week low

Beer production line at the EABL plant in Ruaraka, Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The East African Breweries Plc (EABL) share price fell 3.8 percent on Wednesday to a new 52-week low as investors kept exiting the company after it reported a lower profit and halved its dividend in the year ended June.

The brewer's stock closed at Sh129.75 on Wednesday when it moved 1.95 million shares worth Sh253.7 million. The share price had stood at Sh135 on Tuesday when 10,400 shares were traded.

The recent fall in the share price –from a high of Sh164.5 on July 27, which was the eve of the results announcement— has been linked to the company's performance in the year ended June.

EABL’s board of directors recommended a final dividend of Sh1.75 per share, which when added to the interim payout of Sh3.75 per share brought the total for the financial period to Sh5.5 per share.

Comparatively, the alcohol manufacturer’s payout to shareholders in the year to June 2022 was an interim of Sh3.75 per share and a final one of Sh7.25 per share for a total of Sh11 per ordinary share.

In the month running up to EABL’s results announcement, its share price had appreciated from Sh152 to Sh164.50, indicating that investors were anticipating a relatively unchanged dividend payout.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm reported a profit drop from Sh15.6 billion a year earlier to Sh12.3 billion attributed to higher costs with a cocktail of increased indirect taxes, cost of sales and net finance costs.

The rising costs served to offset gross sales which grew marginally to Sh197.6 billion from Sh193.9 billion previously.

Net finance costs, for instance, grew to Sh5.5 billion from Sh4.2 billion previously while the cost of sales touched Sh62.2 billion from Sh56.6 billion.

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