Zimbabwe’s leading beverage manufacturer Delta Corporation expands soft drink distribution network

ZIMBABWE – Delta Corporation Limited, leading manufacturer and marketer of beverages in Zimbabwe has received the approval of the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) to expand its soft drink footprint and distribution network in Manicaland province.

The beverage maker is involved, through its principal subsidiary Delta Beverages, in the brewing of lager and traditional beer and the bottling of soft drinks under licence from the Coca Cola Company.

Following the approval, The Coca-Cola Company has extended its sparkling beverages franchise arrangements to cover the Eastern part of Zimbabwe.

This cements the agreement between Delta and Mutare Bottling Company, who were operating in this franchise territory, for Delta to purchase the operating assets of Mutare Bottling Company.

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“This transaction provides an opportunity for the Group to provide its range of products across the entire Zimbabwean market. Our customers and consumers in Manicaland will have access to the wide range of The Coca-Cola Company’s brands and packs.

“This also allows the optimal utilisation of the existing assets, including the Mutare bottling plant, and the distribution footprint. The transaction will not result in any job losses,” said the company.

In its 2021 interim results for the third quarter, the group’s revenue grew by 77% for the quarter and 33% for the year to date.

This reflects the significant volume recovery across all beverage categories and attention to replacement cost-based pricing.

The group also benefited from the improved access to foreign currency through domestic Nostro sales.

In terms of volume, the Lager beer category grew 48% for the quarter and 20% for the nine months compared to the same period last year.

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The volume recovery is attributed to the competitive pricing and consistent product supply, benefiting from the injection of new returnable glass and fewer disruptions to production operations.

Delta Corporation third quarter revenue grew by 33% for the year to date.

The sorghum beer volume in Zimbabwe grew 29% for the quarter but still trailed prior year by 14% for the nine months.

The category was negatively impacted by limited access to trade channels such as bottle stores and rural markets in the first half of the year.

Volumes at Natbrew Zambia declined by 2% for the quarter and is up 5% for the nine months. The category has witnessed the resurgence of illegal trading in bulk beer which trades at a discount to packaged product.

The South African entity, United National Breweries recorded a year-on-year decline of 19% for the quarter as South Africa implemented very strict restrictions and bans on the sale and consumption of alcohol.

Sparkling beverages volume grew by 66% for the quarter and is up 42% for the nine months compared to prior year.

The category has benefited from consistent product supply and competitive pricing. The sales mix has shifted towards take-home packs in response to the restrictions on gatherings.

African Distillers (Afdis) registered volume growth of 37% for the quarter and 25% for the nine months driven by the spirits and ready to drink ciders.

The beverages volume at Schweppes Holdings recovered and registered growth of 24% for the quarter but is down 2% for the nine months.

The recovery is premised on improved product supply and the relaunch of the Minute Maid range of juice drinks.

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