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Ethiopia Price Competition To Remain "Intense"

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Diageo expects to see “intense price competition” continue in Ethiopia as new products emerge, but is “optimistic” for its future in the country, according to its Africa unit president.

Speaking to analysts earlier this week, Andy Fennell said that the east African country is the continent's “stand-out market” in terms of competition and is undergoing a “shake-out”. He said: “We’ve seen product proliferation and increasing price pressure... as capacity has expanded.”

But, he added: “(Our) sales in the last quarter have been very strong. Overall, we are very optimistic about the opportunity and our footprint in Ethiopia.”

Fennell said an expanded footprint for its Meta beer brand on draught and a new “value” offering, Zemen, have helped drive sales in the country.

Turning to Nigeria, Fennell admitted he expects competition also to remain “fierce”. “You need a crystal ball to work out what is going to happen there next - post-election, post-new government being formed and kind of figuring out how they balance the books with the oil price where it is and the Naira (currency).”