By Alois Vinga
Blue-chip beverage manufacturer Delta Corporation larger sales volumes grew to ‘dizzy heights’ of 2,2 million hectoliters partly attributed to stable US$ pricing systems for the local market among other contributing factors.
Presenting the group’s performance for the year ended March 31 2023, Delta board chairperson, Sternford Moyo said Lager sales volumes sustained growth throughout the year.
“Lager beer recorded improved volume performance throughout the year with a growth of 17% compared to prior year, achieving a record volume of 2, 2 million hectoliters. The category benefitted from the injection of returnable glass bottles and the improved plant performance,” said Moyo.
He said packaging capacity remains limited, resulting in mismatches of demand and supply of brands and packs underscoring that disruptions in the supply of non-returnable bottles and cans affecting the region are improving which will support one way convenient packs.
“The use of foreign currency for domestic transactions increased significantly during the year, spurred by the constrained ZW$.
“The monetary policy interventions such as the increased interest rates, the introduction of gold coins and delays in government payments, temporarily halted the economic turbulence that was experienced during the year.
“Consumer spending continued to be buoyant, being boosted by stable US Dollar pricing, and modest improvements in wages and salaries across various sectors,” Moyo said.
The sorghum beer volume in Zimbabwe grew by 9% for the year. The Chibuku Super supply was constrained by limited production capacity due to disruptions in the supply of power and water.
The group also drove the revival of the Scud pack to enhance market supply and address affordability thus improving demand.
The Sparkling beverages volume grew by 10% over the previous year and continued to recover market share despite the currency induced pricing distortions.
African Distillers (Afdis) recorded a volume growth of 18% for the year driven by the ciders ready to drink category, which grew by 23% and wines by 16%.
The volumes at Schweppes were flat for the year, having been affected by shortages of juice concentrates and a prolonged plant breakdown that disrupted the supply of Minute Maid branded juice drinks and bottled water.
Group revenue increased by 60% to ZW$537 billion in inflation adjusted terms, reflecting the volume gains across business units and the replacement cost-based pricing.
“In historic cost terms, the group revenue grew by 423% to ZW$452 billion compared to average inflation of 221%.
“Zimbabwe maintained significant contributions in foreign currency takings and has been managing the value chain partners to utilise both currencies,” added Moyo.