Bright stars in Zim­babwe’s eco­nomic gloom

Finweek English Edition - - IN THE NEWS - BY Mem ory Mataranyik

Zim­babwe is in the lime­light for all the wrong rea­sons: the econ­omy is strug­gling, com­pa­nies are closing or scal­ing down and the gov­ern­ment is mak­ing de­mands which are squeez­ing the few op­er­a­tional com­pa­nies even tighter.

The South­ern African coun­try’s tra­di­tion­ally stronger and re­silient c om­pa­nies, s uc h a s SABMiller as­so­ciate Delta Cor­po­ra­tion, fast­mov­ing con­sumer goods counter Innscor Africa and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions g r oup Econet Wirele s s a r e a l l be­gin­ning to crack un­der the strain.

But two South African-con­trolled com­pa­nies, Nam­pak Zim­babwe and African Dis­tillers (Afdis), are show­ing that, de­spite the power out­ages hurt­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing, it’s not all bad news for Zim­babwe.

On 16 Fe­bru­ary, Afdis – which is con­trolled by Delta Cor­po­ra­tion and SA’s spir­its maker, Dis­tell – re­ported ris­ing vol­umes and a spike in prof­its for the six months to end De­cem­ber. The stronger per­for­mance by Afdis points to shift­ing beer con­sump­tion trends in Zim­babwe, which have left dom­i­nant brewer Delta Corp with re­duced lager beer sales vol­umes over the past year, econ­o­mists said.

Joel Mu­tizwa, chair­man of Afdis, which man­u­fac­tures spir­its and ciders, said gross sales for the pe­riod grew 13% to $20.8m, while vol­umes were up 20% to 3.8m litres. Op­er­at­ing in­come grew 29% to $2.6m, while earn­ings per share rose 26% to $0.174. The im­prove­ments were partly due to cost re­duc­tions and a favourable rand ex­change rate Cents 4 500

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Mar ’ 14

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