Delta Corporation Limited will on Friday commission a new $13 million sparkling beverage plant that has a capacity to produce 600 000 hectolitres per annum.
Speaking during a media tour on Thursday, Delta general manager (corporate affairs) George Mutendadzamera said the new plant will increase production.
It has a filler with a capacity to refill 42 000 bottles per hour.
“Demand is exceeding supply and one cannot just be constant hence we have to bring new equipment all the time,” said Mutendadzamera.
Delta Corporation earnings jumped 46% in the first six months ended September 30 as a result of strong performance of beverage sales and improved availability.
Revenue rose to $254,8 million, up from $181,8 million last year.
Total beverage volumes went up 23% led by lager and sparkling beverages.
Lager beer sales were up 30%. Sorghum beer grew 15% above last year, a reversal to last year’s volume loss, but grew at a slower rate than lager beer.
“The new plant will replace the 29-year-old plant that was now become expensive to run. It required many people, water and energy,” said sparkling beverages business executive Andrew Chinamasa.
He said the company will be replacing old bottles with new, lighter ones.
“These will be 25% lighter. Old bottles were heavy to carry and it meant more fuel consumption during delivery,” said Chinamasa.
The company’s basic earnings per share increased to 2,49 cents from 1,71 cents.
After-tax profit stood at $30,29m, compared to $20,47m in the corresponding period.
“This reflects the consumer trading, up due to the lager beer trading. The Shake Shake, which is a premium package in this category, is growing faster than other pack offerings,” said Delta in a statement accompanying its unaudited results.
“Sparkling beverages are 33% above last year, with production having improved following the installation of the new 42 000-bottles-per-hour returnable glass packaging line which started commercial production at the end of August.”