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Schweppes to resume regional exports

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Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited (SZL) plans to resume exports into the region by the second quarter of this year, an official from the company has said.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

In an interview, SZL managing director Charles Msipa said the beverage maker would focus more on the expansion of its products that include the cordials and water this year.

The group said the company has a 65% market share in cordials and 15% in the water market.

“We will resume exports on cordials and juice to Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia. We should be able to resume exports by the second quarter of this year that is between April and June,” Msipa said.

Msipa said the company had managed to secure adequate raw materials for its products. He said in 2011 the company experienced high production costs that led to price increase in some of its product. High production overheads also made the company uncompetitive on the regional market.

Msipa said in 2012 the company managed to reduce its production costs to desired levels that resulted in the reduction of some of its products on the market.

“We have to grow profits by reducing the prices of some of our products. We managed to eliminate waste at the inventory level that has enabled us to procure goods more efficiently to realise savings,” he said.

SZL, according to official figures, has over the last five years spent $32,5 million on plant investments.

In 2012, the group commissioned a $14,5 million hot fill blower line for Minute Maid Pulpy Orange and Minute Maid juice brands. The new line was expected to produce 180 000 bottles per 10-hour shift.

Whaterton Investments, an indigenous consortium jointly owned by management and employees, now owns 51% of Schweppes Zimbabwe with the remaining stake being owned by top beverage maker Delta Corporation.

The group’s products include Schweppes Water, Mazoe Orange Crush, Mazoe Raspberry, Mazoe Peach, Minute Maid juices and Pulpy.

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