Home » Kenyan tycoon Tabitha Karanja says Keroche’s revenue has fallen below $1 million due to shutdown

Kenyan tycoon Tabitha Karanja says Keroche’s revenue has fallen below $1 million due to shutdown

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Tabitha Karanja

Kenyan liquor tycoon Tabitha Karanja has disclosed that the revenue of Keroche Breweries, the alcoholic beverage firm she founded in 1997, has dropped below $1 million as a result of a recent factory shutdown after the company failed to settle Ksh322 million ($2.74 million) in tax arrears.

Karanja made the statement yesterday in response to the Kenya Revenue Authority’s (KRA) decision to close Keroche Breweries’ Naivasha factory, which caused the company to incur losses in the millions of dollars and directly and indirectly displacing thousands of workers.

She explained that it is unbearable to witness the loss of more than 400 jobs, as well as the disposal of millions of dollars’ worth of alcohol as a result of the shutdown, which has seen the company’s revenue fall from Ksh500 million ($4.3 million) per month to less than Ksh50 million ($426,000).

“I was thinking aloud on Sunday afternoon and pondering how I would relay the painful message to our employees on Monday that we would be laying them off as a result of KRA’s closure,” she said. “I was also at pains as I looked at all the beer in the tanks that we shall be forced to drain to waste and wondered why and how the following relevant ministries remain so indifferent to the dire consequences of the current closure of the company’s factor.”

The Kenyan liquor tycoon also requested more time from the KRA to pay a Ksh500-million ($4.3 million) payment agreed upon in December 2021 and due six months later, adding that dwindling revenues have exacerbated the brewer’s cash flow issues, resulting in tax payments being missed.

“During COVID-19’s two years, the company ensured the livelihood of its employees, which really strained its resources,” she said. “The post-COVID effects and the company’s factory’s on-off closures by KRA have left the company a shadow of its pre-COVID establishment.”

Her recent statement is an update to her claims last week that the closure of Keroche Breweries would jeopardize the future of its employees and result in beer worth more than Ksh350 million ($3 million) going to waste.

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