COVID-19 pandemic impacts CBL’s operating profit

Commonwealth Brewery Limited (CBL) experienced a 106 percent decline in its operating profit last year compared to 2019, owing to the downside effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to consecutive quarterly losses for the company, according to a statement on its 2020 end-of-year financials.

The statement reveals that CBL’s net revenue declined by 28 percent last year to $86 million, down from net revenue of more than $120 million at the end of 2019.

“Expectedly, the publicly traded beverage brewer, distributor and retailer experienced declines in both its net revenue and operating profit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CBL’s statement pointed out.

The company noted it experienced an operating loss of $600,000. It also explained that it experienced an improved fourth quarter last year, with net revenue and operating profit trending upward versus previous quarters to $14 million and $2.8 million respectively.

However, the statement contends that those fourth quarter numbers were still “considerably below” the same quarter’s results in 2019.

CBL Managing Director Jürgen Mulder said in the statement that the largest impact to the company came as hotels and restaurants were shut down for a large part of the year due to the pandemic. He said, though, that the company took quick measures last year to mitigate further losses.

“In a year of unprecedented disruption, our teams rose to the occasion and quickly adapted while not losing sight of the need to continue investing for the future,” said Mulder.

“The impact of the pandemic on our business was amplified by our exposure to the tourism industry, especially the HORECA (hotels, restaurants and cafés).

“We took prudent cost mitigation actions balanced with limited investment behind our growth platforms. I applaud the dedication and resilience of our employees and their commitment to support each other, our customers and communities over the past year.”

The statement added, “Even with its reported numbers significantly lower than prior years, the company remains largely optimistic that its operations remain well positioned for future growth.”

Mulder added that the company will leverage viable opportunities for growth and will continue to expand its portfolio and footprint.

“We are also stepping up our focus on continuous productivity improvements and raising our environmental and social sustainability ambitions,” he said. “All of this gives us confidence that we will continue to deliver long-term value for all our stakeholders.”

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Chester Robards

Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian. Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism

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