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Nigerian Breweries Gains Most in More Than 3 Weeks: Lagos Mover

Nigerian Breweries Plc, a unit of Heineken NV, rose the most in more than three weeks on speculation that full-year sales growth will match a second-quarter expansion even amid militant attacks in the nation’s north.

The stock of the West African country’s biggest brewer and second-largest company by market value advanced 1.6 percent to 121.6 naira at the 2:30 p.m. close of trading in Lagos, the commercial capital, the biggest jump on a closing basis since Aug. 2. Nigerian Breweries gained 29 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent climb in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.

The company said July 25 that second-quarter revenue rose 24 percent to 136.5 billion naira ($862 million) from a year earlier, while net income increased 2 percent to 19.38 billion naira. Bombings and attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants are curbing beer sales in northern Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer Nicolaas Vervelde said on May 10.

“We are cautiously optimistic that Nigerian Breweries will maintain this growth trajectory for the rest of the year, noting that this performance is in spite of Nigerian Breweries’ warning that the insecurity in northern Nigeria was hurting sales,” Lagos-based Vetiva Capital Management Ltd., wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today.

Boko Haram, which says it is campaigning to establish an Islamic state in Africa’s top oil producer, has carried out bomb and gun attacks targeting government buildings, security forces and churches in the mainly Muslim north and the capital, Abuja, in the past two years.

The insurgency by Boko Haram, which means “Western education is a sin” in the local Hausa language, is a more serious threat to Nigeria than the 1967-1970 Biafra civil war, President Goodluck Jonathan said in January.

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