Heineken first quarter results have shown that Nigerians are drinking more beer than they did this time last year.
The results, released on Wednesday, show that the volume of beer consumed by Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe, grew by 4.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, most of the increase coming from Nigeria and Ethiopia.
“Organic consolidated beer volume growth of 4.6% was driven by growth in Nigeria and Ethiopia,” Heineken said in its first quarter report.
“Elsewhere in the region, volume was challenging and remains weak, with both affordability and lower tourism continuing to impact performance. Excluding Nigeria, volume would have been down organically for the region.
“In Nigeria volume was flattered by an easy comparative given the election in the same period last year; cycling the forthcoming quarters will be more difficult.”
However, the world’s third largest brewer added that the challenging state of the Nigerian economy, as regards foreign exchange, is impacting its business adversely.
“Underlying trading conditions remain tough and the weaker consumer environment, due to the low global oil price, continues to drive negative brand mix.
“It is becoming increasingly challenging to obtain hard currency in the market, and the uncertainty regarding a possible devaluation of the Naira continues to impact the business adversely.”
Though Nigeria claims not to be in a recession, foreign exchange scarcity has seen some business pull out of the nation, while some others are downsizing.
In 2015, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate fell to a record-low at 2.8 percent, the lowest since the return of democracy.
Inflation also surged from less than nine percent in the last quarter of 2015 to 12.77 in April 2016.
The negative outlook and economic indices are obviously not affecting Heineken consumption.