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Delta drives SABMiller’s growth


SABMiller, the world’s second largest beer maker, says its local strategic business unit, Delta Corporation, contributed at least a third to its beverage growth in Africa for the last quarter ending December 31 2010, reinforcing its foothold on the continent.

SABMiller Africa holds a 36% interest in Delta Corporation, Zimbabwe’s largest beverage maker.

In a trading update for the fourth quarter, SABMiller said its volumes in Africa grew by 12% with Delta beverages, a division of Delta Corporation, accounting for at least a third of this.

SABMiller reconsolidated Delta Corporation into the group numbers this year.

“In Africa lager volumes for the quarter grew 12% on an organic basis,” reads part of the trading update issued on Tuesday.

“Excluding our share of Zimbabwe’s volumes, lager volume growth in Africa would have been 8%.

“Our investment in capacity and our expanding brand portfolios across the region continued to deliver robust growth.”

The company’s Zimbabwe operations were also spurred by growth in volumes at Delta.

“Soft drinks volumes for the quarter grew by 10% (5% growth excluding Zimbabwe) on an organic basis,” SABMiller said.

Delta, which has interests in malted barley, packaging, food processing and wines and spirits, controls about 90% of the local beer market and an estimated 85% of the soft drinks market.

SABMiller’s soft drinks volumes on the continent grew 5% in the quarter on an organic basis and were 3% higher for the first nine months attributed to the continued improvement in economic conditions in many of the company’s emerging markets.

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.

In Tanzania, SABMiller’s beverage volumes were 10% ahead of the prior year reflecting growth in the south, assisted by a new brewery in Mbeya and growth in the local premium segment.

“In Uganda volumes were also 10% higher aided by capacity expansion in the prior year and our wider brand portfolio.

In Zambia, favourable economic conditions and a price reduction, following a drop in excise rates earlier in the year, helped lift volumes by 38%.”

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