Some sectors of Zimbabwe's economy may continue to lag, but Zimbabweans have more money to spend on beer gauging from results posted by beverage manufacturer Delta Corporation, which earned US$54 million for its 2010-2011 financial year.
Group Chairman Canaan Dube said volumes rose 15 percent driven by strong demand for lager beer and soft drinks, boosting revenue 45 percent. Delta paid US$98 million in excise and corporate income taxes to the Treasury, a 62 percent year-on rise.
“Lager beer growth was spurred by investment in both plant and glass packaging while the beverages volumes were bolstered by the improved availability of bottled and canned products and the introduction of sparkling water in the last quarter of the year,” he said.
Sorghum beer volumes declined 7 percent as consumers shifted to lager beer, but sales of non-alcoholic Mahewu, a starch-based non-carbonated product, rallied.
Dube said a new line that can turn out 42,000 bottles an hour will soon come on line at Delta's Graniteside, Harare, facility, to meet surging demand.
Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said Delta Corporation’s profits are helping to revive the economy despite the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption.
Social commentator Jethro Gokoba went a step further and said Delta profits are driven by struggling Zimbabweans drowning their sorrows. “Most people have no jobs and as such they spend most of their time drinking beer with employed colleagues,”he said.