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KRA to garner more revenue from Keroche breweries

Kenya Revenue Authority is expected to rake in more than Sh1 billion annually through revenue generated from increased sales by Keroche breweries in Naivasha.

This comes even as the company expands its beer portfolio to the extra strong beer category.

Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja said the company will be in a position to pay more than Sh1 billion in taxes to the exchequer annually through expected increase in sales as the company expands its production to the extra strong beer category at its Naivasha based plant.

The CEO, however, asked the government to put in place intervention measures that will help rescue the beer industry which has since been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The call was informed by the government’s recent directive that halted the sale of beer in bars to contain the spread of Corona virus in the country.

“Since the government prohibited the sale of alcohol in pubs, we have lowered our production capacity by 25 per cent to keep the business afloat,” said Karanja.

She was however optimistic that the business will bounce back once the government eases the lockdown once the Covid positivity rate lowers.

Karanja voiced the company’s support on the government efforts to control the spread of the pandemic but urged for resumption of sale of alcohol while observing the social distance measures in bars to help save the industry from looming collapse.

On the new beer brand, she explained that the Vienna Ice Extra Strong Lager has an alcoholic strength of 10 per cent and it’s the first locally produced beer in the extra strong category adding that the company aims to expand more to tap the growing niche in the local market.

The CEO said the brand has been well produced and crafted with latest technology which she added will help the company fill the wide gap in the extra strong beer category which previously was being imported.

“Taking one Vienna Ice Lager will roughly be equal to two regular beers of equal volume of 500ml,” she said.

The new alcoholic beverage to Keroche beer portfolio is also expected to stimulate economic viability of the local producers of sorghum and barley in the country as the country vows to buy the beer producing materials from the local market.

Keroche breweries has enjoyed a rapid growth in the local beer market and is currently the second largest alcoholic beverages producer in Kenya with a production capacity of 600,000 bottles per day.

By Erastus Gichohi and Esther Mwangi

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