Delta Lager Beer Volumes up By 20% In First 9 Months Despite Covid-19 Impact

By Anyway Yotamu.
HARARE – The country’s largest brewing company Delta Cooperation reported a 20% growth in lager beer volume in the nine months ending December 31st, as the business has been able to sustain its viability during the peak of the Covid-19 restrictions.
The company’s third quarter lager beer volume also went up 48%.
“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,” the firm said in a trading update.
“With on premise consumption curtailed, there are ongoing efforts to promote at-home consumption in line with the Covid-19 guidelines.”
In Zimbabwe the sorghum beer volume rose 29% for the quarter but still trailed prior year by 14% for the nine months. It said there was improved market access following the relaxation of the lockdown measures during the quarter. But, 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.
At Natbrew Zambia, the volume was 2% down for the quarter but 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,” it said.
The South African entity, United National Breweries recorded a year on year decline of 19% for the quarter as South Africa has implemented very strict restrictions and bans on the sale and consumption of alcohol. The total ban on alcohol sales was re-imposed at the end of December 2020.
Sparkling beverages volume grew by 66% for the quarter and is up 42% for the nine months compared to prior year. The group said the category has benefited from consistent product supply and competitive pricing.
“The sales mix has shifted towards take-home packs in response to the restrictions on gatherings.”
African Distillers (Afdis) reported volume growth of 37% for the quarter and 25% for the nine months on spirits and ready to drink ciders.
The beverages volume at Schweppes Holdings recovered and registered growth of 24% for the quarter but is down 2% for the nine months. However, the recovery is premised on improved product supply and the relaunch of the Minute Maid range of juice drinks.
Group revenue rose 77% for the quarter and 33% for the year to date in inflation adjusted terms.
“This reflects the significant volume recovery across all beverage categories and attention to replacement cost based pricing,” the company said. Also the Group has benefited from the improved access to foreign currency through domestic Nostro sales.
“The foreign currency is being prioritised towards settlement of the legacy debts in line with the arrangements with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Steady progress has also been made in the settlement of the loan for the acquisition of UNB (SA).”
Delta Corporation said the envisaged extension of the sparkling beverages franchise territory to Manicaland is awaiting regulatory approvals which are poised in Q4.

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