Delta trade volumes decline

Beverages manufacturer, Delta Corporation Limited’s trade volumes for a number of products have declined, a situation the company has blamed on a turbulent operating environment.

In a statement accompanying the company’s financial year results for the full year ended March 31, 2020 board chairman Canaan Dube said the trading environment had been unfavourable to them during the period under review.

“Lager beer volume was down 42% on last year,” said Dube.

“There was a prioritisation of returnable bottle packs in an effort to conserve foreign currency and offer the more affordable packs to the consumer. It is noted that the circulation of returnable containers is slowed down during hyperinflation as traders hold them as a store of value. The premium category led by Zambezi Lager remains resilient as it held its proportionate share of the reduced volume.”

Sorghum Beer (Zimbabwe) dropped 25% on last year, with the pricing of the category being driven by the escalation in the cost of imported inputs such as packaging and brewing cereals.

“In line with our strategy, Chibuku Super remains the largest contributor to volume,” he said.

Sparkling beverages volume, Dube said, declined by 17% compared to last year.

“This was on the back of an equally softer last year,” he said.

“The performance of the category was affected by foreign currency shortages, utility challenges especially water supply and reduced consumer spend.  The business continues to work collaboratively with The Coca-Cola Company in order to maintain consistent product supply.”

Dube said the National Breweries (Zambia) Sorghum beer volume declined by 27% last year.

“There are ongoing measures to reverse the volume loss to other alcoholic beverage categories and return the business to profitability,” he added.

Dube explained that the introduction of the “without sugar” variants was a major highlight of last year.

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