August 12, 2017 / 9:04 AM / 12 days ago

Rwandan brewer Bralirwa first-half pre-tax profit up 213 pct

Beer bottles are pictured at the processing line at a brewery plant in Debre Birhan town north-east of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa November 15, 2015.Tiksa Negeri

KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan brewer Bralirwa's first-half pre-tax profit more than tripled from last year, helped by prudent cost management, it said.

Profits at the brewer, controlled by Heineken, the world's second-largest beer maker, surged to 2.91 billion Rwandan francs ($3.53 million), from 929 million francs in the first half of 2016.

The firm said in a statement it had faced "a challenging operating environment" in the first half, but had managed to minimise the impact on earnings "through price ... management, as well as a strong cost focus."

Bralirwa, Rwanda's oldest brewery, was started in 1957 and is known for beers like Primus and Amstel, as well as a range of sodas produced under licence from The Coca-Cola company.

The firm said it expected some difficulty in the second half from "cost pressures and constrained consumer spending" and that this would likely depress earnings.

Earnings per share jumped to 2.03 francs for the period from 0.58 francs a year earlier.

($1 = 824.9700 Rwandan francs)

Reporting by Clement Uwiringiyimana; editing by Elias Biryabarema and Adrian Croft

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