Nairobi Bottlers Limited (NBL) – a Centum Investment Company (Centum) portfolio company, recently commissioned a new PET (plastic) bottling line to more than double capacity from 5 million cases to 12 million cases annually. Growth in PET over recent years has been prolific, with sales growing by 30% last year alone. This sustained unprecedented growth left NBL, the sole national producer of PET bottled beverage products with a supply deficit, forcing them to temporarily import Dasani from neighbouring Tanzania to satisfy consumer demand in the local market.
In response, NBL invested KES 1.3 billion in acquiring and commissioning a new line in a record time of under 6 months. The capital investment is part of a larger KES 4.2 billion budget for the current financial year, which will seek to strengthen the company’s position and ability to serve ever growing consumer demand. NBL is the largest of 6 producers of Coca-Cola beverages in the country accounting for approximately 50% of national production volume.
Centum invested in NBL in 1978 and is the second largest shareholder with a 28% stake. A majority position is held by SABCO – a multinational Coca-Cola bottling company operating 21 plants in 9 countries across two continents.