ZIMBABWE – SABMiller’s Zimbabwean unit Delta Corp. said on Thursday its quarterly lager sales were down 8 percent compared with the same period a year ago, while sorghum beer volumes declined for the first time in five years.
Zimbabwe’s largest listed company said sales of the cheaper sorghum beer, which had registered double digit growth since 2009, declined 12 percent year-on-year during the quarter to June, as consumer spending wanes in a shrinking economy.
Zimbabwean businesses are struggling with high operating costs and debt, competition from cheaper imports and electricity shortages while the economy is expected to struggle this year due to low commodity prices and a poor farming season.
Delta said soft drinks sales declined 12 percent while revenue was also down 10 percent, reflecting weak demand and the price cuts the company has made to push volumes.
Delta is 38 percent owned by global brewing giant SABMiller. Its share price, which climbed to a year high of $1.16 on Feb. 2, was unchanged at 97 cents on Thursday.