Seven-Up losses widen in half-year as finance cost bites

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Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc (“SBC”) on Tuesday reported its half-year results for April through September, with the soft drinks maker posting a record loss of ₦6.2bn ($17 million), a 302% increase from last year’s loss of ₦1.6bn ($4.4 million).

The company blames its misfortune on skyrocketing net finance cost which ballooned to ₦3.6bn ($9.9 million) in the six months to the end of September, a 91% increase from last year’s ₦1.9bn ($5.2 million).

Despite the loss, the company posted an impressive 13.5% increase in sales to ₦53.3bn ($146.8 million) for the period.

The soft drinks giant has seen its earnings become losses over the last several quarters as it faced a spike in the cost of obtaining foreign exchange which has made dollar-denominated loans very expensive, thus increasing finance cost. It has also faced competition from Coca-Cola, its main rival and other newer entrants in the industry.

The company’s share price has not been spared from its challenges as it was recently downgraded by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) from its “Special Pricing Status” category following the fall in share price of the company’s stock to below ₦100.

Seven-Up is the sole bottler and marketer of PepsiCo brands of soft drinks in Nigeria such as Pepsi, 7-Up, Mirinda, and Aquafina bottled water among others.

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