Nigerian Breweries Plc has been dragged to court over a wrongful inscription of low sugar on one of its product.
Ernest Izevbigie, a professor of Biochemistry alleged that the company inscribed misleading information, ‘low sugar’, on the can of one of its non-alcoholic drinks, Amstel Malt.
The claimant sued Nigerian Breweries through his lawyer, Okonkwo Emmanuel of Henry Idahagbon and Co. (Trinity Chambers).
Izevbigie, the former Vice-Chancellor of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, said that a laboratory investigation revealed that the product contained more sugar than the company put on the brand.
He urged the court to order the company to tender a written apology to him as he had been injured by the deception.
Izevbigie also prayed the court to pronounce that the inscription on the product was misleading to the public.
Delivering judgement, Justice Esohe Ikpomwen of Edo High Court ordered the Nigerian Breweries Plc, to apologise for the wrongful inscription of low sugar’ on its product.
The judge held that evidence before the court showed that the sugar content of Amstel Malt was between the approved 10 per cent and 15 per cent of sugar by the regulatory body.
She said Nigerian Breweries should have indicated that the sugar content contained in the product was lower than other beverage non-alcoholic drinks rather than the ‘low sugar’ inscription.
Ikponmwen held that while she might not grant the request suggesting that the information was deceitful, she held that it was a trade trick competition taken too far by the firm.
She held that the claimant’s request urging the court to hold that Amstel malt was a normal non-alcoholic drink and not “low sugar’’ succeeded.
“The defendant is ordered to apologise to the claimant and other public consumers in Nigeria for making them to erroneously believe that Amstel malt is low in sugar within 30 days from the date of this judgment,’’ she held.
About the company
Nigerian Breweries Plc is the pioneer and largest brewing company in Nigeria. It serves the Nigerian market and exports to other parts of West Africa.
Nigerian Breweries Plc had released its Q3 2018 interim financial results for the period ended 30th September 2018.
Revenue for the company dropped from ₦270 billion in 2017 to ₦254 billion in the year under review. This represents a 5.62% decrease year on year.
Profit Before Tax also dropped from ₦34 billion in 2017 to ₦22 billion. This represents a 34.7% decrease year on year.
Profit After Tax likewise dropped from ₦24 billion in 2017 to ₦14 billion. This represents a 38.4% decrease year on year.
The Earnings Per Share also dropped from ₦300 in 2017 to ₦185 in 2018. This represents a 38.3% decrease year on year.
Nigerian Breweries Plc closed at ₦76:00 on Wednesday’s trading session on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).