ZIMBABWE – Delta Corporation Limited has said its new largest shareholder was interested in the business and would prioritise Zimbabwe ahead of other African business.

Delta is now an associate of global brewer AB InBev. This came after AB InBev took over SABMiller.

Delta’s chief executive officer, Pearson Gowero told an analysts briefing in Harare yesterday that AB InBev was solidly behind the Zimbabwean business unit.

“The new shareholder is interested in the business and was here last Friday,” he said.

AB InBev CEO, Carlos Brito was supposed to be part of the visiting team, but could not make it, Gowero said, adding the new shareholder was not into soft drink business in Europe or Africa, but in Brazil.

He said Delta was not expecting any significant changes in the environment and the introduction of bond notes was still under the jury on whether or not they would stimulate demand.

In the half year ended September 30, 2016, revenue declined by 8% to $246,6 million from $269 million realised in the same period last year. Profit for the group was down to $30 million from $35,7 million recorded last year.

During the six months ended September 30, volumes for lager and sparkling beverages declined by 11% and 3%, respectively. Chibuku volumes grew by 6% on increased demand.

Gowero said the trading environment continued to be constrained due to depressed consumer spending and limited access to cash and weak macro-economic fundamentals.

Of its associates, Delta said Afdis recorded growth in volume, revenue and profitability. Afdis also recorded a growth in market share for ready to drink (ciders) and spirits. Schweppes recorded a recovery in water market share, Delta said.

November 10, 2016; https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/11/10/new-shareholders-throw-weight-behind-delta/