Delta H2 revenue rises 37 percent . . . Records high lager sales . . . Demand due to post-election spending

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CEO of Delta Corporation, Pearson Gowero

Martin Kadzere
Zimbabwe’s largest beer maker, Delta Corporation, recorded 37 percent growth in revenue in six months to September this year driven by strong lager beer volumes.

In a trading update on Wednesday, Delta that is 40 percent owned by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, said beer volumes grew by a record 54 percent in the first half.

Half-year results are expected to be published on November 8.

“Consumer demand has been firm due to increased economic activity in the mining and agriculture, expansionary fiscal and monetary and post-election related spending,” said Delta.

Sorghum beer volumes rose 2 percent while soft drinks grew by 3 percent due to shortages of raw materials resulting in extended periods of production stoppages.

Delta’s Zambian unit, National Breweries recorded volume growth of 13 percent.

Forex crunch

Zimbabwe is facing serious foreign currency shortages with companies struggling to pay for raw materials while backlog of unsettled foreign payments continue growing.

Last week, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the beverages sector witnessed a sustained growth since the beginning of the year and this was putting more pressure on foreign currency demand needed to import raw materials.

Mangudya said Delta’s forex requirements almost doubled since the beginning of the year.

Delta said it has maintained stable retail prices since 2013, although some retailers recently hiked prices by between 10 and 40 percent after the RBZ directed banks to separate accounts for bond notes and RTGS and for foreign currency.

“Post the end of the reporting period, the fiscal and monetary policy pronouncement have been dampened by the currency statements, which seem to contradict the previous undertakings by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe on the multi-currency framework,” said Delta adding that 2 percent transaction tax took both business and consumers by surprise, raising policy risks and eroding confidence.

Delta implored the Government and regulators to engage stakeholders ahead of major policy pronouncements to maintain market confidence.

Delta shares gained 19,9 percent on Wednesday to $3,64 claiming a 90,81 percent of the value out-turn, leaving other counters scrambling for the remaining 9,2 percent.

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