ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe’s largest beverage company, Delta Corporation, has registered a 55% growth in revenue in the first quarter ended 30 June 2022.
The rise in top-line performance is attributed to growth in sales volume and the replacement cost-based pricing.
According to the drinks maker, the trading environment was characterized by increased social and economic activity as the COVID-19 restrictions and curfew times were progressively relaxed.
Consumer spending remained high reflecting faster velocity of the local currency and spurred by increased mining activity, infrastructure projects, marketing of commercial crops and payments of wages and salaries in foreign currency.
Demand of products is however being constrained by the low disposable income in certain consumer groups.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed company registered volume growth across all its product portfolio, led by sparkling beverages segment which attained the highest of growth in the quarter by 32%.
The category has benefitted from consistent product supply and an expanded pack and flavour offering despite currency related pricing distortions.
During the period under review, the company expanded its range of no sugar variants to include Coke, Fanta, Sprite and Sparletta Ginger beer brands.
Still looking at the soft beverage segment, Schweppes Holdings Africa Limited, one of Delta’s associated entities recorded a volume growth of 9% for the quarter, which was constrained by a shortage of fruit juices for the flagship Mazoe Orange Crush.
Shifting focus to its beer portfolio, the lager beer segment attained a volume growth of 19% for the quarter compared to prior year.
The volume recovery is underpinned by improved supply of brands and packs which has benefitted from the injection of returnable glass.
Delta forecasts higher growth in the segment following the launch of Sable lager.
Meanwhile, its sorghum beer volume in Zimbabwe grew by 14% for the quarter compared to prior year, driven by the standard Chibuku (Scud) product.
The company revealed that Chibuku Super is constrained by the limited production capacity, with plans of commissioning a new plant is at its Harare brewery in early 2023.
The added capacity will enable it to meet the demand especially of the newly launched Chibuku Super Banana flavour.
Its sorghum beer volume at Natbrew Zambia remains under pressure, declining 9% for quarter, in the aftermath of the price increases implemented in January 2022 in response to the hike in excise duty.
United National Breweries South Africa on the other hand recorded a volume growth of 13% for the quarter despite the setbacks from the adverse weather in some markets.
Its subsidiary African Distillers Limited (Afdis), manufacturer, distributor and marketer of branded wines, ciders and spirits, registered a volume growth of 18%.
The company also has interest in Nampak Zimbabwe Limited which continued to benefit from the recovery in the beverages and edible oils sectors with overall volume growing by 16% in the quarter.