After United Breweries Ltd. reported a rebound from pandemic-driven slump, aided by to price hikes and benign input cost changes in the fourth quarter, the company is focusing in boosting volumes in the new fiscal.
“The cost environment is a dynamic thing that happens every year and we do have cost-mitigation actions in place,” said Managing Director Rishi Pardal, referring to higher cost of input products like barley, craft paper and aluminium in FY21. The outsize issue for FY22, he told BloombergQuint’s Niraj Shah in an interview, is the severity of the second Covid wave and its impact on restaurants and bars, which contribute substantially to their sales.
- United Breweries’ revenue rose 17% over a year earlier in the quarter ended March, according to its filings.
- Volumes rose 9% and net profits before tax and exceptional items surged 400% in quarter ended March 2021 as compared to the same quarter last year.
Reopening of bars and restaurants, a rollback in Covid cesses by states, cost cuts, new launches, freshly commissioned capacities and continuing operations at plants while following protocols aided strong sequential growth in the last two quarters.
United Breweries reconfigured plans to ensure more automation and distance between people at their plants, Pardal said. Cost cut learnings from last year on how to manage inventories and networks to service markets from factories in different states would help the company navigate the second wave of the pandemic, he said.