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Phoenix of Mauritius Beats Own Goals for Madagascar Beer Sales

Phoenix Beverages Ltd. (PBL), Mauritius’s largest brewer, may achieve its goal of getting a 25 percent share of the Madagascan beer market earlier than expected after sales during the first seven months beat its own forecasts.

“We reached a 10 percent market share after seven months,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Wooding said in an interview yesterday in Phoenix, south of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis. Given current growth rates, the brewer may control quarter of the Madagascan beer market by 2013, ahead of its own initial target of 2015, he said.

Phoenix is expanding into Madagascar, Reunion Island, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Common market for Eastern and Southern Africa to increase earnings from outside its “mature” home market in Mauritius.

In Madagascar, Phoenix owns 40 percent of La Nouvelle Brasserie de Madagascar, based in Ambatolampy, south of the Malagasy capital, Antananarivo, and through which it sells the ‘Skol’ beer brand. NBM will increase sales by expanding its distribution network from the capital to other parts of the island, Wooding said.

Phoenix currently produces about 1.2 million hectoliters of drinks a year, of which beer accounts for about 30 percent, and sodas, including a range of Coca-Cola Co. brands, 50 percent. The company also bottles mineral water, according to Wooding.

For the 12 months through June, Phoenix said net income fell 1 percent to 164.6 million rupees ($5.7 million) as revenue increased 10 percent to 3.75 billion rupees. The company expects an improved performance for 2012, Wooding said, declining to comment further.

Shares in the company fell 1.5 percent to 195 rupees as of 2:15 p.m. in Port Louis, curbing the gain since the start of the year to 3.7 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis via Johannesburg at 1933 or gbell16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin on at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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