By Alois Vinga
LISTED beverages giant, Delta Corporation has suffered an 18% decline in volume sales of its flagship lager beers owing to tight selling restrictions implemented under the Covid-19 lockdown.
The measures are meant to curb the spread of the deadly pandemic.
However, presenting a trading update Friday, Delta Corporation’s company secretary, Alex Makamure said the firm suffered losses across its trading lines.
“Lager beer volume sales for the quarter declined by 18% compared to the same period last year. Trading in alcoholic beverages was restricted to off-premise outlets for home consumption in line with the Covid-19 guidelines,” he said.
Part of the Covid-19 containment measures have seen bars being restricted from reopening in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Other popular entertainment joints have also suffered a similar fate prompting in reduced sales for alcohol.
Makamure said sorghum beer volumes in Zimbabwe also declined by 51% for the quarter due to limited access to the market particularly in trade channels such as bottle stores and bars.
The beverages volume at Schweppes Holdings further declined by 32% for the first quarter reflecting the constrained trading under Covid-19 conditions.
“Exports have been affected by the depreciation of regional currencies which reduces competitiveness. There has been an improved intake of juicing and processing fruit,” he said.
As a result, revenue for the first quarter of 2020 was 5% below the prior year in inflation-adjusted terms compared to a growth of 765 % in historical cost terms.
“This reflects the impact of the Covid-19 disruptions on volume and the cost-driven price changes,” said Delta.
The beverages manufacturer said policy changes to allow the use of FCA free funds to settle domestic transactions and the introduction of the foreign currency auction system are expected to improve access to foreign currency to meet operational requirements and to settle legacy debts.