AB InBev's Zim unit sales fall 10% amid cash shortage

The Beerhouse has opened a new outlet in Centurion, following the runaway success of its branches in  Cape Town and  Johannesburg.
The Beerhouse has opened a new outlet in Centurion, following the runaway success of its branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Johannesburg - Delta Corp, Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, said full-year revenue fell 10% as consumers struggling for cash turned to cheaper brands of beer and sparkling wine.

Sales declined to $483m in the year through March, while net income slumped 13% to $69.9m, the Harare-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Volumes of lager and sparkling wine fell 7% and 11% respectively, while sorghum beer declined 3% after heavy rains limited Delta’s ability to get the plant-based drink into bars and shops.

“The company experienced significant challenges during the year,” including drinkers’ limited access to cash and changes to payment platforms, Delta said. “The country received heavy rains, which limited market access and inhibited outdoor consumption occasions.’”

Delta, about 23% owned by the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, is battling weak consumer spending and a cash crunch in Zimbabwe amid a crisis that has seen the economy shrink by about half since 2000. The company said Coca-Cola and AB InBev are exploring options to restructure a long-standing bottling agreement.

The shares are little changed this year at $0.88 each, valuing the company at $1.1bn.

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