Business News of 2013-12-24

Businesses cash in on Xmas

Revenue inflows to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage producers and service providers in the transport and airline industry have risen sharply following substantial increases in their sale volumes this December.

The increase in sales in the last quarter of the year, particularly the early periods of December, is mainly on the back of the Yuletide, which has seen more people either travelling to spend the festive season with friends and relatives or shopping for them.

Being a period for celebration and merrymaking, people's appetite for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages has also risen, resulting in the high sales for the brewing industry.

The phenomenon is likely to impact positively on the end of year financial results of companies and traders because they stand a greater chance of meeting or even exceeding their set targets.

More bottles sold

The Marketing Manager of Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), Mr James Boakye Sarfo, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on

December 20 that the last month of every year had always been a peak period for the breweries, explaining that this year's was not different.

"Christmas has been turned into a spending period where people make merry, and anytime people make merry, food and drinks are involved. Generally speaking, Christmas has had a positive impact on the business. Our sales have gone up and our targets for the year have already been achieved mainly because of the Christmas sales," he added, but declined to mention figures.

He, however, explained that "if we were selling 'X' number of, say, beer, we will be selling 'X' plus, may be 15 to 20 per cent higher, because of the Christmas.

The General Manager in-charge of Sales and Distribution at Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL), Mr Kojo Nunoo, expressed similar sentiments in a separate interview.

He told the paper that although 2013 had not been good for the company, sales within December had been encouraging, thanks to the impending Yuletide.

Checks at major breweries such as Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited (GGBL), GIHOC Distilleries, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company Ghana showed that the trend is the same throughout.

Travelling mood activated

Mostly around this period, scores of people often shuttle within the country, with others returning home from abroad to mark the occasion with friends and loved ones.

This year's Christmas, which is tomorrow, is not entirely different.

Checks at the domestic airlines and road transport companies showed that passenger movement within December had risen significantly.

The Commercial Manager of Antrak Air, Mr Kwaku Antwi-Bosiako, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in a separate interview that the airline had witnessed about 13 per cent rise in its passenger numbers in December.

"As of yesterday (December 19), most flights for today and tomorrow (December 20 and 21), were already fully booked, and you can easily tell that these are Christmas travellers and that is good news for us," he added.

Mr Antwi-Bosiako explained that the rise in passenger throughput resulting from the Yuletide was not limited to particular routes but across the board, adding that it reflected the general mood in the country.

"We have also had first-time travellers coming on board, and that is exciting to us," he added.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Mr Victor Anane Frimpong, the Director of Operations at the ailing Intercity STC Coaches Limited.

"The patronage has been good within the period. There are times we get more passengers but don't have buses to convey them," he said,

Contingency measures>/B>

Although most brewing companies, airlines and transport service providers are cashing in on the season, most of them are wary of the wind down in patronage from mid-January onwards.

As a result, majority of those the paper spoke to said they had initiated contingency measures that would help lessen the impact.

They, however, advised their customers to observe the period with extra care to enable them to make the best of the season