SABMiller plc on Monday published a trading update for the second quarter of 2011 ended September 30, which reconsolidated Delta Corporation and showed that the operation, in which SABMiller holds a 36% equity interest, significantly lifted the world’s second largest brewer’s lager volumes in Africa.
Delta is Zimbabwe’s largest beverage maker and has additional interests in malted barley, packaging, food processing and wines and spirits.
It controls about 90% of the local beer market and approximately 85% of the soft drinks market.
In a statement posted on its website on Monday, SABMiller said its lager volumes in Africa increased 11% on an organic basis, driven by Delta which contributed 3% to the group’s lager volumes on the continent, just six months after reconsolidating its results.
“Excluding Zimbabwe, lager volume growth in Africa would have been 7% for the period, on an organic basis.”
The London-based corporation said it reconsolidated Delta Corporation with effect from April 1 following Zimbabwe’s dollarisation after a four year suspension and was pleased with its contribution.
“All credit goes to the Delta management team, whose efforts in keeping the business running in the last few years have been little short of heroic,” SABMiller Africa managing director Mark Bowman said.
The global brewer last paid dividends for the local share register in 2005, the year it also stopped remitting capital because of foreign currency shortages in the country.
In the trading update, SABMiller reported that Delta contributed 1 million hectolitres to its total beverage volumes, including lager volumes of 0,3 million hectolitres.
Delta’s portfolio of lager brands includes castle lager, eagle, lion lager, carling black label, golden pilsener and bohlinger’s, while coca-cola dominates the soft drinks portfolio.
It also markets and distributes a number of SABMiller’s premier brands including redd’s, peroni nastro azzurro and miller genuine draft.
Delta CEO Joe Mutizwa also the largest maker of beer and soft drinks in Zimbabwe had successfully endured eight years of “white water rafting”.
“Managing the company over the last 8 years has been the business equivalent of white water rafting.
The challenges have been large, varied and relentless.
The demands have been many; requiring perpetual vigilance and constant adaptation.”
Castel’s African beer operations in which SABMiller has a 20% interest also contributed to group lager volumes.
All operations consolidated, SABMiller’s lager volumes grew 1% Lager volumes for the first six months, while soft drinks volumes increased 2%, driven by volume growth.