Delta Corp is back in growth ter­ri­tory

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Tawanda Karombo

ANHEUSER-Busch InBev’s as­so­ciate unit in Zim­babwe, Delta Cor­po­ra­tion, has swung back to growth af­ter rev­enues for the June quar­ter in­creased 2 per­cent on the back of a 12 per­cent growth in beer vol­umes.

The com­pany, which was for­merly owned by SABMiller, at­trib­uted the surge to an im­proved agri­cul­tural out­put fol­low­ing the dev­as­tat­ing drought that cur­tailed farm­ing ac­tiv­ity in the re­gion in the past few months.

It said beer vol­umes grew com­pared to the sim­i­lar pe­riod last year with a strong re­cov­ery in value brands.

“Pos­i­tive vol­ume out turn is at­trib­ut­able to im­proved con­sumer spend­ing aris­ing from a better agri­cul­tural sea­son,” Delta said.

Im­ported beer and soft drink prod­ucts, how­ever, held back the com­pany’s full po­ten­tial, Delta claimed.

Soft drinks, cur­rently man­u­fac­tured un­der agree­ment with Coca-Cola, also grew nearly 3 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

Delta Cor­po­ra­tion is trad­ing un­der a cau­tion­ary af­ter it re­ceived a no­tice from Co­caCola ad­vis­ing of the group’s in­ten­tion to ter­mi­nate the Zim­bab­wean soft drinks maker’s agree­ment to make car­bon­ated soft drinks and others un­der the Sch­weppes brand.

“This fol­lowed the merger of AB InBev and SABMiller and the sub­se­quent agree­ment in prin­ci­ple be­tween The Co­caCola Com­pany and AB InBev to ex­plore op­tions to re­struc­ture the bot­tling op­er­a­tions in a num­ber of coun­tries (in­clud­ing Zim­babwe). The rel­e­vant par­ties re­main en­gaged in dis­cus­sions and stake­hold­ers will be up­dated,” said Delta.

It said the con­tin­ued in­flux of im­ported soft drinks has been at­trib­uted to “price and im­port duty dis­par­i­ties” while other ex­perts cite smug­gling syn­di­cates.

Vol­umes for the sorghum based Chibuku was, how­ever, down 5 per­cent for the quar­ter, al­though the Chibuku Super Vari­a­tion, which has a longer shelf life, was up 9 per­cent.

Chibuku has over the past few years been the ma­jor sparkle in the Zim­bab­wean brewer’s de­clin­ing per­for­mance, help­ing it stem worse rev­enue and profit tum­bles as the mar­ket switches to cheaper al­co­holic al­ter­na­tives.

Anheuser-Busch InBev’s as­so­ciate unit in Zim­babwe, Delta Cor­po­ra­tion, has swung back to growth af­ter rev­enues for the June quar­ter in­creased 2 per­cent on the back of a 12 per­cent growth in beer vol­umes. Photo: Reuters

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