Rev­enue drops 10% as sales slow

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

DELTA Cor­po­ra­tion, which is Zim­babwe’s big­gest com­pany by mar­ket cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion, said that its third-quar­ter rev­enue had fallen by 10 per­cent as water short­ages and weaker de­mand for its lager and sparkling drinks prod­ucts weighed on sales. Lager beer vol­ume was down 1 per­cent in the three months to De­cem­ber and fizzy bev­er­ages had slumped 11 per­cent on in­creased pres­sure from im­ports, the com­pany, almost 23 per­cent owned by Lon­don-based SABMiller, said in an e-mailed state­ment yes­ter­day. Vol­umes of sorghum beer, made from a type of lo­cal plant that is used for food and bio­fu­els, has de­clined by 4 per­cent af­ter pro­duc­tion dis­rup­tions due to se­vere water cuts. Delta is also bat­tling weak con­sumer spend­ing in Zim­babwe amid a cri­sis that has seen the econ­omy shrink by about half since 2000. The Harare-based com­pany is also fac­ing the prospect of los­ing a long­stand­ing bot­tling deal with the Coca-Cola Com­pany, which the soft drinks com­pany said it planned to ter­mi­nate fol­low­ing the An­heuser-Busch InBev takeover of SABMiller. The shares have gained 4 per­cent this year, build­ing on a 25 per­cent in­crease last year. – Bloomberg

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