Delta in record beer sales, but AB InBev is thirsty for its dividend

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(iStock)
(iStock)

Zimbabwe’s beverages giant, Delta Corporation, has made record sales of its lager beer volumes - but major shareholder AB InBev is yet to drink its share, as the southern African country is struggling to make foreign payments amid crippling foreign currency shortages.

For the six months to September 30, 2018, lager beer volumes for the beverages maker were up 54% to 1.04m litres, the highest since 2013 when volumes reached 1.02m litres.

This is despite the company experiencing supply constraints, as a result of lacking foreign currency to import packaging material and other key raw materials. Major shareholder AB InBev was, however, said to be supportive in securing imported materials.

The volume performance saw Delta record a 37% revenue growth to $341.4m in the period under review, from $250m recorded previously.

As a result, profit was up 77% to $57m, while earnings per share amounted to 4,63 US cents.

A dividend of 4,50 US cents was declared but, as in the past, majority shareholder AB InBev might not get to enjoy the dividend, as it is already owed millions from past dividend pay outs. While Delta is sitting on a $302m cash pile, it owes AB InBev $53m in unpaid dividends declared previously.

Foreign creditors are also owed $41m, as Delta, like many other Zimbabwean companies, has struggled to make foreign payments due to foreign currency shortages.

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