The Nigerian Breweries has reported 22 per cent decline in Profit After Tax (PAT) for the half year which ended on June 30, 2018. The company during the period posted a profit after tax of N18 billion compared to N24 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017. Profit before tax dropped by 19 per cent from N34 billion in 2017 to N28 billion in the period under review. An analysis of the company’s unaudited result submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) showed that revenue also declined by five per cent to N173 billion from N181 billion in the comparative period of 2017. A further analysis of the statement indicates that results from operating activities declined by 20 per cent from N39 billion in 2017 to N32 billion in the period under review. Uaboi Agbebaku, NB Company Secretary/Legal Adviser attributed the development to new excise duty introduced by the Federal Government. Agbebaku said that the new excise duty regime and higher rate of beer introduced by the Federal Government in June 2018 further impacted on affordability in the period under review. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved an amendment to the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco with effect from June 4. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said that the new excise duty rates were spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the products. Adeosun said that the new excise duty regimes followed all-inclusive stakeholder engagements by the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance with key industry stakeholders. According to her, the upward review of the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco is to achieve a dual benefit of raising the Federal Government’s fiscal revenues. The minister said it was also aimed at reducing the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.