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East African Breweries Managing Director Resigns After Half-Year Profit Drops 14%

02/23/2013 | 08:38am US/Eastern
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By George Mwangi

NAIROBI--The managing director of East African Breweries Ltd. has resigned a week after the company announced a 14% drop in its half-year net profit, the subsidiary of Diageo said in a statement.

Diageo is the largest shareholder of EABL, the biggest brewer in East Africa.

"Mr. Devlin Hainsworth will be leaving his position as Managing Director of EABL as of 31st March 2013 , in order to pursue other interests outside of EABL and Diageo," EABL Chairman Charles Muchene said.

Mr. Hainsworth has led EABL since July 2012 and had worked with Diageo for over 14 years holding various positions including managing director for Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana PLC. The EABL board has appointment Charles Ireland, who joined Diageo in 1997 after working with Nestle in Great Britain for 10 years, to replace Mr. Hainsworth with effect from April 1, the statement said.

Since 2006, Mr. Ireland was the managing director of Guinness Anchor Berhad, or GAB, in Malaysia, a joint venture between Diageo and Asia Pacific Breweries where he has overseen five successive years of growth in terms of volume, market share, revenue and profit, the statement said.

GAB is Malaysia's third largest consumer goods business and is listed on the Malaysian stock exchange with a market capitalization of over 1 billion pounds, the statement said.

On Feb. 15, EABL announced a 14% drop of net profit to shareholders to 3.75 billion Kenyan shillings ($43 million) in the six months to December 2012 from 4.38 billion shillings a year earlier, due to a growth in its financing costs.

"This followed the investments in the acquisition of a majority interest (51%) in Serengeti Breweries Limited, Tanzania, the acquisition of the minority interest in Kenya Breweries Limited, construction of a new brewery in Moshi, Tanzania, and investments in a mash filter in Uganda and a canning line in Kenya," EABL said in a statement.

EABL also plans to expand its market to South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo.

Write to George Mwangi at realtimedesklondon@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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