As part of plans to boost its investment in Africa and increase the demand for its beer on the continent, the world’s largest beer maker, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV intends to open its first brewery in Mozambique in the second half of 2019. The brewery will have a 2 million hectolitres capacity.
AB InBev had in March announced it was building new brewery worth $100 million in Tanzania. The company had also invested $250 million in a refinery in Nigeria where production is expected to start later this month. The Belgium-based company cited Africa as a major factor in the decision to buy SABMiller, the multinational brewer founded in South Africa, which has its roots selling beer to miners in 19th century Johannesburg. Jorge Paulo Lemann, one of AB InBev’s billionaire shareholders, said in 2017 that the continent’s rapid urbanization and warm climate could eventually see it overtake the United States in beer sales.
“Some people look at Africa and see a lot of volatility, uncertainty. We see opportunity,” Reuters quoted AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito to have said.
“For us, Africa is definitely the place to be.”
In May, the company began distributing its flagship Budweiser brand in South Africa. It also introduced an alcohol-free version of SABMiller’s Castle brand. Castle Lite, South Africa’s biggest selling lager, remains popular. The overall fourth-quarter revenue for the company grew by 8.2 percent, beating the average estimate of 5.3 percent growth.
AB InBev’s new investment will help it keep pace with demand in Mozambique where it enjoyed more than 20 percent growth in the first half of 2018.