Zambian Breweries Plc has announced increases of between 3.6 and 19% in the recommended retail price of its clear beer alcoholic beverages on its non-returnable bottle packs and the sorghum-brewed Eagle lager effective today, 24th March.
Making the announcement, Company Managing Director Anele Malumo explains that the increases are a combined result of inflation and the 50% increase in Excise Duty on clear beer from 40% to 60% that the government implemented as part of the 2014 National Budget.
Mr Malumo says Zambian Breweries has until now absorbed the excise increase on its non-returnable packs in order to mitigate the smuggling that would have resulted from having higher beer prices relative to regional peers.
He states that the company has however noted that the increased excise duty has been an added direct cost to the non returnable bottle product types and has detrimentally affected company profitability.
And Mr Malumo says with the excise-induced increase in prices on its beer products, Zambian Breweries Plc has since January 2014 witnessed a decrease in monthly beer sales volumes from prior levels due to consumer price elasticity.
He says consequently, the company anticipates that its total tax remittances to Government will decrease in tandem compared to what it would have paid had the excise rate remained unchanged.