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Published: 20 September 2017

2017 Windhoek Oktoberfest officially launched

2017 Windhoek Oktoberfest officially launched The excitement by attendees to the official launch of the annual 2017 Windhoek Oktoberfest simply echoed this event’s status as the favorite on the annual entertainment calendar for thousands of Namibians. Brought to life through a partnership between Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) - a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and the Sports Klub Windhoek (SKW), the 2017 annual Windhoek Oktoberfest, celebrating its 59th anniversary this year was officially launched on Tuesday, 19 September in the spirit of the Bavarian culture this event so vividly embraces.

From the authentic German music in the background enjoyed by guests in traditional Bavarian attire (the ‘Lederhosen’ for the gents, and ‘Dirndl’ for the ladies) to the specially brewed ‘Festbier’ and scrumptious traditional German cuisine such as ‘bratwurst’ and ‘pretzels’, amongst others, the launch event took place at the NBL Headquarters in Windhoek.

Authenticity and Culture
At least 5000 people - both from abroad and locally annually attend the Windhoek Oktoberfest, which is marked as the best Oktoberfest in Africa and is but a part of the global Oktoberfest celebrated all over the world. Head of the Windhoek Oktoberfest organizing committee, Norbert Wurm at the launch emphasized on how this global event has been ‘Namibianized’ to cater for and accommodate local supporters. Wurm: “Yes, the Oktoberfest originated from Germany, but while the Windhoek Oktoberfest also embraces the culture from which this event originated, it is not entirely a ‘German party’ as such, but rather celebrates and appreciates culture in Namibia as well. The Windhoek Oktoberfest is all about passion, people, and authenticity and of course, Namibian beer. We have to cater for everyone, especially our Namibian supporters that have kept this event alive for almost 6 decades.”

According to member of the Windhoek Oktoberfest organizing committee, Gero von der Wense, on the global front in Munich where the Oktoberfest originated, at least six million people from all over the world attend the event annually. The Oktoberfest initially started in the 19th century (1810), and has grown to become the biggest festival in the world today. Von der Wense: “In addition to the popular authentic family games that traditionally forms part of the Oktoberfest, which include log sawing and beer lifting to high striker and mechanical bull riding, and the vast range of traditional cuisines, the 2017 event will also host a new dance act and an extra band. Of course, the Windhoek Oktoberfest will not be the same without the presence of Authentic German music with the world’s coolest Oktoberfest band straight from Munich – The Kirchdorfer!”

Cape Town gets an extra day
While the 2017 Windhoek Oktoberfest will run its course over the traditional two-day period, on the 27 and 28th of October at the SKW, the Cape Town Windhoek Oktoberfest which will be held for the third consecutive year, will however have a third day added to the calendar for this year’s event, which will take place on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of October at the Hillcrest Quarry, Durbanville. Wurm: “The Windhoek Oktoberfest in Cape Town has grown so popular since its inception in 2015 that we added a third day to the event – a request from Cape Town supporters”.

Win a trip to the Munich Oktoberfest

Eurowings stepped on board as a sponsor for the 2017 Windhoek Oktoberfest, and everyone who buys a ticket before the 27th of October, stands a chance to win a return trip for two to Germany, to attend the Munich Oktoberfest. Tickets to the Windhoek Oktoberfest are available at Webtickets, at any Pick & Pay (PnP) outlet in the country, or can be purchased online.
Published: 20 September 2017

Used household battery collection points officially available in Swakopmund

Used household battery collection points officially available in Swakopmund The Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) in partnership with Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – and VARTA Consumer Batteries Namibia expanded its environmental services to the coast, on its mission to promote and instigate the three R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

On the 15th of September 2017 the official launch of household battery collection points took place in Swakopmund, giving residents the platform to safely dispose of their household batteries. RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt: “During the past year, it has become evident that residents of Swakopmund are aware of the damages caused to the environment when disposing household batteries in normal household refuse, given the number of queries received after launching the first Windhoek bins. It is not only creating the awareness of the 3 R’s that is important, but also for the RNF to seek ways to encourage minimizing waste sent to landfills and dumpsites, as well as to find solutions for problem items, such as batteries in this case. A total volume of 200kg of household batteries has been safely disposed of in a two month period in Windhoek.”

The Swakopmund Municipality has joined the initiative as one of the partners, as they will take over the responsibility for the collection, plus safe disposal of these batteries. Environmental Health Practitioner at the Swakopmund Municipality, Robeam Ujaha: “The Municipality of Swakopmund has a vision to be the 1st Sustainable town in Namibia, and to realise this ambition there is need for us to accommodate best practice in terms of recycling. This initiative will not only safeguard our environment, but also raise awareness on the safe disposal of such batteries, as it contains chemicals that has a high potential to pollute the entire ecosystem. Hence this recycling initiative is applauded. The initiative forms part of NACOMA’s Biodiversity Week (CBW) which aims to raise awareness amongst coastal residents and the nation at large on environmental issues and concepts inter alia impacts of pollution and littering, illegal and overutilization of resources, conservation and sustainable development. The CBW has grown hugely in popularity amongst coastal residents as it creates a good platform for especially learners to learn more on environmental issues and concepts.”

Ujaha further stressed that the greatest environmental concern surrounding a battery is the impact it has at the end of its life, as batteries are classified as Hazardous waste. Ujaha: “Batteries are widely used all over the country and are a vital source of energy (light, powering appliances), especially in rural areas and informal settlements. Despite the extent of use and the hazard posed, the majority remain unaware. The country currently only has two landfill sites where hazardous waste can be disposed of safely. Your initiative is therefore very important toward safeguarding our environment and raising awareness on safe disposing of batteries.”
Harald Bartsch from Vision Sales and Marketing, the distributors for VARTA Consumer Batteries in Namibia expressed excitement at the expansion of the project to the coast. Bartsch: “So far the Windhoek initiative has been a great success and it just proves that Namibians are concerned about our environment, and I am sure the coastal project will be very successful too. VARTA Consumer batteries is looking forward to joining our partners and to contribute towards this worthy cause”

O&L Group Environmental Manager, who is also the chairman of the RNF, Gloudi de Beer calls on the public for cooperation and support in making a success of this initiative. De Beer: “This is another opportunity for us to contribute to creating a safe environment, and sustaining our environment not only for ourselves but also for future generations. It is critical that we all support initiatives such as this, for the health and safety of us all and the future of this country. If we do not participate and support, this will not work.”

PnP Marketing Manager, Victoria Moller says as a leading retailer, PnP fully embraces this project. Moller: “In line with the O&L Value ‘naturally today for tomorrow’ PnP eagerly supports this project as it ensures future sustainability of our environment and natural resources. I commend the RNF for their efforts in contributing to future sustainability as we join hands in taking on the responsibility to keep our environment clean, safe and healthy. I encourage the community to participate in this project enthusiastically as it creates hope for generations to come.”

Collection points are available at PnP Swakopmund with the Walvis Bay point currently being pursued.
Published: 15 September 2017

NBL Financial Results for the year Ended 30 June 2017

NBL Financial Results for the year Ended 30 June 2017 PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS
• Revenue N$ 2.7 billion, up by 11.7%
• Operating profit N$ 611 million, up by 13.0%
• Profit after tax N$ 318 million, down by 14.5%
• Earnings per share 154.2 cents, down by 14.5%
• Headline earnings per share 229.6 cents, up by 23.6%
• Final dividend per ordinary share 42 cents, up by 5.0%

Business performance
Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - delivered another solid financial performance in 2017 with operating profit, revenue and volumes growing by 13%, 12% and 8%, respectively. These results were achieved mainly as a result of growth in volumes sold to South Africa despite a particularly challenging year, which was characterised by severe drought, unpredictable exchange rates and rapidly shifting consumer tastes. The NBL Board declared a final dividend of 42c on 5 September 2017, which represents an increase of 5% from the previous period.

NBL Managing Director (MD), Wessie van der Westhuizen: “Our performance demonstrates NBL’s resilience and ability to adapt to changes within our operating environment. It is also the direct result of our employees taking ownership of challenges and instead creating opportunities to bring our purpose to life. Without this, NBL would have delivered a very different result in 2017.”


Brands
Beer volumes continue to grow and NBL still enjoys a majority market share in Namibia. In February 2017, we announced Tafel Lager as the official sponsor of South Africa’s Griquas Rugby Union team. We have seen exceptional growth of this brand in South Africa and identified this sponsorship as an opportunity to further strengthen its visibility and awareness among South African consumers.

NBL continued to raise awareness of King Lager’s role in the home-grown barley project. This in turn supports the local barley industry, with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable employment in Namibia. King Lager therefore remains a purpose driven initiative for NBL and, despite challenges, is committed to its long-term success.

During the year, we worked with Stellenbrau and Soweto Gold on product pack renovations and format extensions that are more aligned to consumer needs. Our own craft brand, Camelthorn, was renovated and relaunched in Namibia and South Africa in July 2017.

Following the restructuring of the South African operations in December 2015, it was mutually agreed to terminate the Distribution Agreement between Diageo and NBL. With effect from 31 December 2016, NBL discontinued the manufacturing, distribution and sales of all Diageo products, including Smirnoff.

Financial performance

NBL Finance Director, Graeme Mouton: “The quality of NBL’s relationship with Heineken South Africa contributed to this year’s performance. While Namibian beer volumes shrunk by 3%, this decline was off-set by a 46% increase in volumes sold to Heineken South Africa. NBL therefore achieved an overall volume growth of 8%. NBL maintained an operating margin of 22% despite the challenging trading environment. Profit attributable to shareholders of N$318 million was delivered – a decrease of 14.5% on the prior year. This decrease is mainly attributable to the increase in equity accounted losses from NBL’s associate, Heineken South Africa, as a result of increased shareholding. The equity losses were further increased with the loss incurred by Heineken South Africa resulting from the restructuring of the South African operations.”

Outlook
Van der Westhuizen concluded: “The challenges in our operating environment highlight the importance of continually diversifying our business, product and brand portfolio, and strategy in order to stay ahead of the variables we have experienced in the past year. This includes an ongoing focus on first-time-right initiatives across the business. We are excited by the significant success of Heineken South Africa in the past year. We will continue to maximise scale efficiencies and capabilities across the two businesses in order to optimise our supply footprint in Southern Africa, as well as possible synergies in the export market. We will continue to leverage our portfolio of premium beers, capitalise on new opportunities in
the growing craft beer segment, and respond to consumers’ ever-changing needs.“

About Namibia Breweries
Namibia Breweries Limited employs 802 employees. The company is listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group is the largest investor in NBL. The company’s brand portfolio includes leading brands such as Windhoek Lager, Windhoek Draught, Windhoek Light, Tafel Lager, Tafel Lite, King Lager, Vigo, Code and Aquasplash, amongst others.

Click here to Download Report.

Published: 13 September 2017

O&L Leisure employees receive wage increase

O&L Leisure employees receive wage increase O&L Leisure – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group signed a substantive wage agreement with the Tourism and Allied Workers Union of Namibia (TAWUN) for the period 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018 for O&L Leisure employees in the bargaining unit.

Following extended negotiations between TAWUN and O&L Leisure to negotiate on the terms and conditions of employment, the parties concluded the negotiations without having to invoke a dispute by reaching agreement and signing a substantive agreement on the 8th of September 2017.

According to the Manager: Human Capital at O&L Leisure, Vivian Kaposambo, this was the first negotiations between O&L Leisure and TAWUN which has laid down the rules of engagement for the parties going forward. Kaposambo: “The negotiations were done in a spirit of good faith despite the challenging economic conditions prevailing. The parties agreed to increase remuneration with 8% for employees in the Bargaining Unit and also agreed to a minimum remuneration of N$ 3000.00 within the O&L Leisure Bargaining Unit. The agreement will ensure that employees are remunerated commensurate with the prevailing economic conditions but also allowing the Company to conduct its business sustainably. The agreement is in line with the O&L Group Purpose ‘Creating a future, enhancing life”.

The president of TAWUN, Ben Petrus said the following at the signing ceremony: “The union and its members are happy to have reached an agreement, especially on the minimum wage that TAWUN is advocating in the spirit of Harambee where no one should be left out. The agreement will pave the way for the tourism industry to gear towards the possibility of paying a living wage”.

O&L Manager: Group Human Capital, Centre of Excellence, Johannes Kangandjera regards the successful and smooth negotiations, and the signing of this agreement as a reflection of the group’s commitment to the best interest of its employees. Kangandjera: “Especially during these challenging economic times, we are cognizant of the fact that not only do businesses go through difficult economic times, but that the work force faces the same challenges in their personal lives. I am thus happy that we are able to provide for that increase in contribution to making life a little easier for our most important and valued assets, our people.”

The wage increase and adjustments are effective from 1 July 2017.
Published: 07 September 2017

Strand Hotel Swakopmund gets global recognition

 Strand Hotel Swakopmund gets global recognition “Creating amazing experiences not only for our own people, but also for visitors to Namibia, as well as landing our country as a nation with immeasurable potential to deliver the best on the African continent, as well as the entire globe, are part of our main focus areas on this journey of contributing to building the economy of Namibia,” says Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group Executive Chairman, Sven Thieme following Strand Hotel Swakopmund’s recent award as a stand out in the hospitality industry on the African continent.

The Strand Hotel Swakopmund was recently awarded the Best Hotel Development accolade in the 2017 Africa Property Investment (API) Awards, for its innovative design and outstanding achievements in services. The awards were announced during the API Summit & Expo in Sandton, Johannesburg more than a week ago. Launched at this year’s Summit, the API Awards are aimed at providing a distinguished platform for developers, suppliers and owners in the African real estate industry to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa; giving special recognition to the best that Africa has to offer.

Located in Namibia's premier seaside resort of Swakopmund, the Strand Hotel has become a landmark in the area and a popular holiday destination, with its beach location and being close to the town's amenities. The hotel is owned by O&L Leisure - a subsidiary of the O&L Group – with a strong and reputable portfolio consisting of the Exquisite Chobe Water Villas – an exclusive and intimate wildlife lodge located at the eastern tip of the famous Caprivi Strip; the ever popular Mokuti Etosha Lodge in the north of the country – a premier destination for foreign and local tourists seeking thrilling wildlife encounters at especially the globally known Etosha National Park area; the historic Midgard Country Estate, located to the west of the Namibia is popularly known as an ideal family hide-away, a first or last stop for international visitors, the perfect venue for intimate meetings, and popular for team-building events or weddings for guests from all over the country and beyond, and of course the award-winning Strand Hotel Swakopmund that opened doors about two years ago.

O&L Leisure Managing Director, Terence Makari: “For O&L Leisure, it is indeed humbling and satisfying to get such prestigious recognition. The Strand Hotel was developed to provide guests with an authentic and modern Swakopmund experience that’s gemütlich, entertaining and rejuvenating. It was part of the design objectives to create a hotel that is charming and welcoming as the town it is located in. This recognition illustrates that all the thinking brought in the detail of the design of the hotel was worth it, and contributed immensely to creating a unique sense of place. It is satisfying to note that it is being recognized on the continental stage and we remain indebted to all stakeholders involved during the design stage for their valuable contributions. Its location, design and offering sets the Strand Hotel Swakopmund apart from other establishments in the sector.”

WSP in Africa – one of the largest multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies on the continent – was commissioned by the developer to design the Rational Fire, piped services (gas/plumbing and drainage), mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning for the hotel. “The main objective of the system’s design was to contribute towards sustainable development by means of utilizing resource efficiency in the design, careful selection of equipment that can withstand the harsh corrosive environments and provide robust reliable operation. Plant and materials were also selected of a suitable quality to last for a design life span of between 20- and 25-years, without major refurbishment during this period.” said Peter Hodgkinson, Managing Director of WSP Building Services, in Africa. In a statement from API, the award panel also indicated that the design of the hotel met the requirements of the local heritage council and that it responds sensitively to the existing indigenous landscape – through a functional and contemporary design approach that provides a unique aesthetic.

CEO of the Hospitality Association of Namibia (HAN), Gitta Paetzold: “An award of this nature speaks to the quality and high standards of tourism/hospitality infrastructure that Namibia is able to offer to its national and international guests - proving that Namibia as a destination compares very well with the quality experiences in the rest of the world. The Strand Hotel Swakopmund has been a special place since its inception, and I wish to take this back to its initial construction - the hotel having been one of the founding members of HAN in 1987, and having held a special place in Namibian hospitality all along. Being situated at the main public beach in Swakopmund, most Namibians have a sense of ownership of that space and place, which explains why the planning for the total reconstruction of the Strand Hotel after Independence was such a long and complex process. Everyone, including many members of the public and the Swakopmund Aesthetics Committee felt the need to contribute, comment and object to the various plans presented prior to construction - resulting in the final design speaking to the needs and expectations of the public, who were guaranteed continued access to the place and surrounding beach and promenade - and even more so, the multitude of services, niches and products offered within the hotel. The award is proof that this concept was well thought through and applied successfully, making the new Strand Hotel Swakopmund a magnet for local and foreign guests alike. HAN is extremely proud to count the Strand Hotel Swakopmund as a founding and existing member of the Association, as it is a role model of continued improvement, where warm hospitality and service excellence are the key pillars of the operation - something that HAN is keen to promote in Namibia as a whole.”