Zimbabwe’s largest beverage maker Delta Corporation says volumes of clear beer grew by 43 percent in the nine months to December last year while that for soft drinks plunged 26 percent.
The company, in which the world’s largest brewer AB InBev holds 40 percent, said in its nine-month report for the period ending December that clear beer sales were 27 percent higher than the previous year.
It says sales could have been higher but there were challenges in accessing imported raw materials and services.
Sales of sorghum beer grew by 15 percent over the previous year but was up 6 percent over the nine months.
“There were supply gaps due to frictional shortages of packaging materials and extended plant breakdowns mostly occasioned by lack of foreign currency for spares and contractual services,” the company said.
“Chibuku Super contributed 85% of the volume.”
“The sparkling beverages volume declined by 66% compared to prior year for the quarter and decreased by 26% for the nine months.” It said.
“There were extended production stoppages arising from limited access to foreign currency required for importing key raw materials and the failure to clear arrear payments to The Coca Cola Company.”
The company said it is trading under a cautionary in respect of a notice received from The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) advising of an intention to terminate the Bottler’s Agreements with the Group entities, following the merger of AB InBev and SABMiller in October 2016.
Delta tried to price its products in United States dollars but was persuaded by the government not to do so.
It increased the price of clear beer by 25 percent and said it is looking into the pricing of other products.