Evaluation of the financial performance of Ghana Breweries Limited after merger and enlistment on the Ghana Stock Exchange

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Vibrant financial performance is of grave concern to almost every organization for planning, controlling and organizing its activities. The hitherto separate corporate organizations ABC and KBL merged to form GBL in 1998. The merger was to eliminate the unnecessary duplication of activities, improve profitabi1ity, enhance market share and reduce cost of operations. the brewery industry in Ghana especially the alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages is a very dynamic one. It has attracted intense competition both locally and internationally. This study aim at assessing the profitability level of GBL, its solvency and liquidity position, the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of owners and creditors fund and the appropriateness of mix of debt and owner’s equity in financing its operations. Despite the severe attack from cheaper brands of its products and the unfavorable economic environment that followed the merger, the company’s performance over the period under study has been satisfactory. The company’s main products, Star Beer, Guilder, ABC Golden Lager Beer, Amstel Malta, Afri Cola and Bluna performed well in the competitive enviromnent during 1998 and 1999. Turnover grew by 18.32% over the period while sales volume was 4% as against the industry’s average of 7.5%. Net turnover amounted to 0109 billion in 2001, representing an increase of 23% compare to that of 2000. It was ¢136 billion in 2002, an increase of 24% over that of 2001. It however, increased to ¢192 billion in 2003. In spite of the increase in net turnover, operating profit (before foreign exchange losses) declined from ¢6.97 billion in 2000 to ¢2.94 billion in 2001. It improved significantly to ¢6.3 billion in 2002. Cash flow of the company improved as a result of the €5 million deposit against shares paid by Heineken B.V., the parent company in December 2002, the conversion of ¢10.7 billion zero coupon convertible bond into ordinary share in March 1998, write-off of the deficit on the income surplus account (¢40.6 billion) arid conversion of part of the outstanding balance of SSNIT preference shares into ordinary shares. The share price of GBL has not been impressive. It experienced active trading in the stock market with price appreciation of 112% in 1998 from ¢996 to ¢2050 in 1999. This however decreased by ¢600 to ¢1450 by the end of 1999. In 2000, the share price dipped by 7% to ¢1350. It decreased further by 26% to ¢1000 by the end of 2001 and was ¢500 by the end of 2002. However, it gained 4% increase to ¢520 by March 2003. The huge investment made which are aimed at upgrading the efficiency of the company’s operations, distribution and marketing systems, together with improvement in the skills and capabilities of the staff would give the company the capacity to weather the economic storms and capitalize on opportunities in the market for a break through in the brewery industry in Ghana.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Business Administration Degree, 2008