ZIMBABWE – Delta Corp Ltd, Zimbabwe’s integrated beverage company has announced that revenue grew 40% mainly on increased lager beer sales in the first quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Lager beer volumes increased 56% compared to the same period in the previous year while volumes for sparkling beverages (soda) rose 23% reflecting sales of drinks like Coca-Cola and Fanta.

Delta, which is 37% owned by Belgium based AB InBev said higher volumes were attributed to increased consumer demand as the political climate improved following former president Robert Mugabe’s exit in November.

Sales of sorghum beer, also known as opaque beer, fell five percent mainly on shortages of packaging as Zimbabwe grapples with foreign-currency shortages to finance imports.

It said increased acceptance of electronic methods of payment by consumers had eased the impact of the country’s chronic shortage of cash notes.

“Lager beer volume is up 56% over the prior year for the quarter, matching peak run rates post-dollarization,” Delta said in its annual report.

The company however remains under a cautionary statement over the future of Delta’s Coca-Cola manufacturing and bottling division following the merger of SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev in October 2016.

In the year ended March 2018, Delta reported 18% in revenue increase higher beer volumes and growth in larger sparkling beverages.

The company recently came out saying inadequate forex was hampering its operations in the soft drinks category, that is Coca-Cola beverages as relies mainly on imported raw materials.

The company bought a controlling stake in National Breweries in neighbouring Zambia in 2017, its first acquisition outside Zimbabwe.

In the quarter that ended June 30, Delta said National Breweries’ volumes rose 21% due to competitive pricing and improved supply.