By Alois Vinga
LISTED beverages manufacturer, Delta Corporation Limited (DCL) has recorded a 48% lager sales volume growth and acknowledged the positive impact of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe auction system on yielding a stable pricing environment.
Presenting a trading update for the period for the third quarter and nine months to December 31 2020, DCL, company secretary, Alex Makamure attributed the growth to competitive pricing.
“Lager beer volume grew 48% for the quarter and 20% for the nine months compared to the same period last year.
“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,” he said.
In Zimbabwe, the Sorghum beer volume grew 29% for the quarter but still trailed prior year by 14% for the nine months.
There was improved market access following the relaxation of the lockdown measures during the quarter.
The Sorghum Beer category was negatively impacted by limited access to trade channels such as bottle stores and rural markets in the first half of the year.
The volume 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 products.
During the period under review, sparkling beverages volume grew by 66 % for the quarter and is up 42% for the nine months compared to the prior year.
Makamure said authorities in regional markets invoked heightened levels of lockdowns in January 2021 in response to the upsurge in Covid-19 infections and emergence of more virulent strains.
“The business outturn for the fourth quarter will therefore be subdued although the Zimbabwean economy could benefit from improved access to foreign currency and lower inflation,” he said.
He said the company will continue placing the safety and health of its employees first and abiding by best practice as pronounced by the authorities whilst seeking to keep the Company and Group entities afloat in the circumstance of this Covid-19 pandemic.