Delta hit as hard up drinkers sober up

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BEVERAGE maker Delta Corporation says second quarter lager beer volumes fell 29 percent below the same period last year, pushing half-year revenue 4 percent lower and reflecting weakening consumer demand as the economy remains depressed.
Zimbabwe, in July, slashed its 2014 growth forecast to 3.1 percent from 6.1 percent, due to lower output in mining and manufacturing and as more companies shut down, the finance minister has said.
In a trading update Monday, Delta revealed that first half lager volumes, to September 30, were down 25 percent compared with the same period last year.
Soft drink volumes – both sparkling and alternative — were also 8 percent down quarter-on-quarter and 6 percent lower on a half-year by half-year basis.
“Total beverage volume is down three percent and one percent on prior year for the quarter and six months, respectively,” Delta said.
The low-cost, mass market sorghum beer category continues to register growth, driven by Chibuku Super. Sorghum beer volumes were 12 percent up in the quarter and 14 percent above the previous year for the six months.
“Revenue is down five percent for the quarter and down four percent for the six months reflecting the notable changes in sales and product mix in favour of value propositions. This will have a bearing on the financial performance,” the company said.
During the first half, Delta effected some price cuts on its lagers in a bid to stimulate demand and arrest the downward volume spiral.
Delta, Zimbabwe’s largest listed company, will publish its half year results on November 13.
The company is 38 percent owned by global brewer SABMiller.Advertisement