The sales of public-owned fragrance-maker Kesma and Chabrawichi’s 555 eau de cologne reached EGP 3 billion since April, a source at the supply ministry told Al-Mal on Thursday.
Following a March surge in sales of the cheap eau de cologne, which comes in concentrations of 70 percent and 90 percent proof, the ministry decided to release it through the ration cards as a cheap alternative to sanitisers.
Kesma and Chabrawichi is a subsidiary of the Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company, which is in turn a subsidiary of the Holding Company for Food Industries, which is attached to the supply ministry.
Despite struggling in the last couple of decades due to competition with the private sector and foreign brands, the Chabrawichi brand, which dates to the 1920s, has come into its own amid the coronavirus crisis.
While many private sector factories suffered from a lack of alcohol, Chabrawichi had its own natural alcohol supply from the sugar cane produced by its distillery factory, which is also a subsidiary of the Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company.
The distillery factory, based in Minya, produces 154,000 litres of alcohol on a daily basis.
Some of that was previously exported, but in March the trade ministry banned the export of all medical materials, including alcohol.
In recent weeks, the company has released several sizes of its best-selling 555 eau de cologne at cheaper prices to meet the high demand.