Cheers for Delta as beer sales climb in Zim

Cape Times - - COMPANIES - Tawanda Karombo Harare

ZIM­BAB­WEANS are con­sum­ing more beer de­spite the cur­rent cold win­ter sea­son and tough eco­nomic con­di­tions, with the coun­try’s big­gest brewer and An­heuser-Busch InBev as­so­ciate unit, Delta Cor­po­ra­tion, say­ing yes­ter­day that lager-beer sales vol­umes for the quar­ter to June in­creased by 56 per­cent.

This helped to drive up rev­enue by 40 per­cent in a Zim­bab­wean mar­ket that is cash­parched.

The adop­tion of dig­i­tal pay­ment meth­ods has helped to curb trans­ac­tion bot­tle­necks, although par­al­lel mar­ket cur­rency rates have spiked, with about R100 fetch­ing $12 through bank trans­fer or mo­bile money.

But for Delta, the adop­tion of dig­i­tal pay­ments across most out­lets has helped to pro­pel its per­for­mance.

Delta also man­u­fac­tures Chibuku sorghum-based beer, as well as soft drink bev­er­ages un­der li­cence from the Co­caCola Com­pany.

“Lager beer vol­ume is up 56 per­cent over the prior year for the quar­ter, match­ing the his­tor­i­cal peak run rates post-dol­lar­i­sa­tion (2009). While prod­uct sup­ply is largely sta­ble, im­ported in­puts re­main a con­straint,” the com­pany said in a trad­ing up­date.

Rev­enue shot up by 40 per­cent. The com­pany said all cat­e­gories had reg­is­tered rev­enue growth in spite of a de­cline in vol­umes for other cat­e­gories.

Alex Maka­mure, the com­pany sec­re­tary for Delta, con­firmed that the brew­ery con­cern, which now has key in­ter­ests in Zam­bia’s Na­tional Brew­eries, would pay $25.2 mil­lion (R334.5m) in div­i­dends for the cur­rent year.

“No­tice is hereby given that the board of di­rec­tors has de­clared an in­terim div­i­dend of 2 cents per share payable in re­spect of all qual­i­fy­ing or­di­nary shares of the com­pany, to be paid out of the prof­its for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year,” he said.

Delta en­joys a dom­i­nant po­si­tion in the Zim­babwe bev­er­age in­dus­try, but also bat­tles against im­ported prod­ucts. In the soft drinks cat­e­gory, there is grow­ing com­pe­ti­tion from Barum Bev­er­ages, which has set up a plant for Pepsi prod­ucts in Harare.

How­ever, this has not yet dis­rupted Delta’s mar­ket po­si­tion­ing, as its soft drink vol­umes in­creased by 23 per­cent dur­ing the pe­riod un­der re­view com­pared with the same pe­riod a year ear­lier. But this cat­e­gory has not been with­out its chal­lenges, the com­pany said, con­firm­ing the mar­ket had re­cently suf­fered short­ages of its prod­ucts.

The sorghum-based opaque beer un­der Chibuku and Chibuku Su­per, how­ever, de­clined by 23 per­cent for the pe­riod. The Chibuku cat­e­gory de­clined by five per­cent, mainly be­cause of “short­ages of pack­ag­ing ma­te­rial”.

PHOTO: TI­MOTHY BERNARD/AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)

Delta Cor­po­ra­tion’s lager beer sales have driven up rev­enue by 40 per­cent in Zim­babwe.

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