News - CDM Cervejas de Moçambique S.A.R.L., AB InBev Group

News - CDM Cervejas de Moçambique S.A.R.L., AB InBev Group

CDM Cervejas de Moçambique S.A.R.L., AB InBev Group



News - CDM Cervejas de Moçambique S.A.R.L., AB InBev Group


Mozambique: Tax Authority pushing ahead with plans to impose fiscal stamps on beer  (

The Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) is pushing ahead with plans to impose fiscal stamps on bottled and canned beer, despite warnings from the drinks industry that the stamps may lead to a reduction, rather than an increase, in tax revenue, reported on May 2.

According to a report in the May 2nd issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias", the AT will begin to test the technology next week.

Currently only one company produces beer in Mozambique, CDM (Beers of Mozambique), with breweries in Maputo, Beira and Nampula. Both CDM and the association of drinks producers (ABIBA) have warned of reduced revenue, if putting fiscal stamps on the final product reduces the speed of bottling.

The CDM production lines can fill between 60,000 and 120,000 bottles per hour. If adding the fiscal stamp slows down the line, then less beer will be produced, and less will be consumed.

CDM points out that only four countries in the world put fiscal stamps on beer, and all of them are Muslim-majority countries. Furthermore CDM is already one of Mozambique's major taxpayers, and nobody has ever accused it of tax evasion.

Last week, ABIBA predicted that, if fiscal stamps are imposed on beer, this will cut annual tax revenue from beer from eight billion to five billion meticais - a tax loss of three billion meticais (about 50 million US dollars, at current exchange rates).

The AT scoffed at this prediction, and claimed that, since a digital rather than a physical stamp will be used, here will be no slow-down in production.

The AT's southern regional coordinator for fiscal stamps, Rogerio Machava, insisted "this process will not cause any constraints for the operators. It was they who suggested that we use a digital stamp, and the AT is working to satisfy this request from the operators".

When the digital stamp is tested next week, said Machava, the operators will see how it works, and whether it does indeed create any problems for beer production.

Physical fiscal stamps have already been imposed on tobacco products and on wines and spirits, and the AT claims they have significantly increased revenue from these products. But the production process is very different, and no major problems have been found in slapping fiscal stamps on wines and spirits, most of which are imported.


Africa: SABMiller ratcheting up production of more affordable beers using sorghum and cassava  (

Africa's biggest brewer SABMiller is ratcheting up production of more affordable beers in the continent using sorghum and cassava in place of more expensive barley to drive growth in what is already the group's fastest growing region, Reuters reported on March, 13.

The London-based brewer's Africa region - minus South Africa - produces 13 percent of group profits, and strong beer volume and earnings growth is being driven by its biggest markets such as Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.

A large part of the strategy directed by its African regional managing director Mark Bowman is to make beer more affordable and less of a luxury product than when it is priced at around $1 a bottle across the continent.

"By African standards, beer is expensive so we look at sub-inflation pricing and to develop an affordable category," Bowman said.

He says that the outlook for the beer industry in Africa is sound with strong GDP growth of 4-6 percent per annum and population growth of 2.5 percent, and within that framework a low priced entry to beer drinking is extremely important.

The world's second largest brewer and maker of brands such as Castle, Miller Lite and Peroni has set ambitious annual targets for Africa to grow volumes 6-8 percent and earnings by over 10 percent, and Bowman says the main limiting factor is capacity constraint after a recent spurt of growth.

Using locally-produced sorghum and cassava rather than pricey imported malting barley is key to this strategy as is the increasing use of keg beers rather than bottled ones and encouraging traditional cloudy sorghum-made Chibuku beer.

Although sorghum and cassava is around 60 percent the price of malting barley, there still needs to be a cut in excise tax to reduce the price of these beers significantly which has seen them sell well in Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique.

SABMiller's Tanzania managing director Robin Goetzsche says tax breaks are key to producing more affordable beer as only 17 percent of a bottle of beer is the liquid inside, with the rest accounted for by packaging, marketing, distribution and tax.

In 2004, SABMiller introduced its first sorghum beer Eagle in Uganda which now accounts for half of its 55 percent market share, and with major competitor Diageo also seeing success, around half of Uganda's beer is sorghum-based.

In the East African nation, the sorghum beer enjoys half the excise tax of barley-made beers, and so with lower production costs and tax its Eagle beer sells at 70 percent of the level of mainstream beers such as Nile Special and Club Pilsner.

"We need to get the price down to 80 percent of mainstream to get a big kick in demand," Goetzsche said.

The strategy has not worked as well in Tanzania as the nation has a more moderate excise tax regime and the cut for sorghum-based Eagle was only to 75 percent that of barley beers, and so only allowed Eagle to be priced at 88 percent of its mainstream national beers brands Kilimanjaro and Safari.

This was not sufficient to boost demand and Goetzsche says the brand which accounts for around 5 percent of the group sales has seen a volume decline of 12 percent, in a country where SABMiller expects its overall beer volumes to rise 17 percent in the year to end-March 2012.

This has been offset by the success of its mainstream beers and the recent launch of Castle Lite, and he is expecting annual earnings up 15 percent in SABMiller's biggest market in its Africa region where its market share has risen to 73 percent.

While sorghum has been used in Uganda and Tanzania, and by Diageo in Kenya to replace barley as a source of starch, further south in Mozambique, SABMiller is using the staple root crop cassava with encouraging results over the last few months.

Its first cassava beer, named Impala, was launched in late October and within just over 2 months had taken 1.7 percent of Mozambique's beer market and has boosted output at SABMiller's third and newest brewery at Nampula in the north of the country.

SABMiller's Mozambique managing director Grant Liversage says the group negotiated with the government to pay a quarter of the excise tax for its beer, and is planning that cassava beer will soon make up a third of production at Nampula which would see its national market share rise above 5 percent in a market where the brewer has an overall share of over 90 percent.

The use of cassava and the tax break allows the beer to be priced at 70 percent of mainstream beer brands like 2M and Manica and its success has encouraged him to believe that the beer brand could replace its barley-based economy brand.

The cassava crop is processed by a mobile operating unit close to the growing crops and transported to the brewery where it makes up 70 percent of the starch requirement for brewing with the other 30 percent coming from malting barley.

"There is a huge cassava crop in Mozambique, and cassava growth and some barley development will be our major initiatives for the coming year," Liversage said.


Africa: SABMiller launches its first ever cassava-based beer  (

World’s second-largest brewer SABMiller launched on November, 1 its first ever cassava-based beer, an affordable beer category aimed at cracking the untapped home brew market in the world's poorest continent, Reuters reports.

The first Cassava beer will be brewed in Mozambique.

By using Cassava - a drought resistant root vegetable rich in starch - to brew beer, SABMiller will be commercialising a technique used by Africans for generations to brew beer at home.

"We estimate that the volume of the informal, unregulated alcohol market across Africa could be up to four times that of the formal market," said Mark Bowman, managing director of SABMiller's African operations.

Bowman expects the new brand - Impala Cerveja - to contribute about 10 percent of its annual sales in Mozambique over the next two to three years.

Mozambicans consume around 8 litres of beer per capita each year, excluding beer brewed at home, suggesting that there's still plenty of room for growth because in other countries such as South Africa where the annual consumption rate per capita is 60 litres.

Impala could fetch up to 70 percent of the mainstream beer market thanks partly to a new Mozambique law which reduces the excise rate for beers made from the cassava, the company said.

SABMiller said it would use about 40,000 tonnes of raw cassava each year in the production of Impala from more than 1,500 smallholder farmers.

SABMiller's Africa region, excluding South Africa, saw the fastest growth in underlying beer volumes, up 15 percent, of all its regions in its half-year to end-September.


Mozambique: SABMiller’s unit may brew world’s first cassava beer   (

SABMiller Plc’s Mozambican unit said it plans to contract farmers to grow cassava for the company to produce a cheaper brand of beer, Bloomberg reported on September, 9.
This could be the world’s first cassava beer, the company said.
“We plan to engage smallholder farmers and bigger commercial farmers to grow cassava for us,” Grant Liversage, managing director of Cervejas de Mocambique, said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday from Maputo, the capital. “We are in discussions with various stakeholders on how we can progress.”
SABMiller last year spent $400 million opening new breweries in sub-Saharan Africa, including one in Nampula, in northern Mozambique. In a bid to reduce costs, the company is trying to secure supplies from domestic farmers to cut imports, such as the $50 million of barley brought in to supply its Mozambican breweries each year.
CDM has developed a beer recipe that uses cassava starch, replacing traditional ingredients such as malted barley, sugar and corn, Liversage said. Cassava is a tuber crop, like the potato. Tapioca is a root starch derived from the vegetable.
“As far as we know, cassava is not currently used in the commercial production of beer anywhere,” Liversage said. “The hope is that Mozambique will be the first market in the world to welcome the product.”
Earlier this year, the company said it planned to contract as many as 2,000 farmers to produce sorghum or cassava to supply its breweries.
The initiative is “still very much in the concept stage, but we are hopeful to begin the project within the next few months, as soon as we have ironed out the outstanding issues,” Liversage said.
Sourcing the crop domestically will enable the company to cut the cost of its beverages, Liversage said. The cheapest 550- milliliter (1.2-pint) bottle of beer in Mozambique currently costs 25 meticais (68 cents).
“We are looking to reduce the price of the product to be able sell it below the current price of beer in the market,” Liversage said.
Mozambique, with a population of 22.9 million people, has gross domestic product per capita of $950, compared with the African average of $2,802, according to the website of the African Development Bank.
The company’s total brewing capacity in the country is 1.9 million hectolitres.

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