SABMiller brings Delta Corp in from the cold

SABMiller brings Delta Corp in from the cold

SABMiller has reintroduced the performance of Zimbabwe's Delta Corp into its annual reporting. Here, just-drinks takes a closer look at the group.

- SABMiller owns 36% of Delta Corp. The Peroni brewer's share of Delta Corp volume sales in the year to the end of March 2010 was 0.3m hectolitres of lager, around 1m hectolitres of soft drinks, which included the Coca-Cola brand, and 1m hectolitres of other alcoholic beverages, mainly spirits.

- Delta was formed in 1978. Its forerunner was Rhodesian Breweries, which was established by South African Breweries (SAB) in 1910 as the South African firm's first foreign venture.

- Delta Corp had sales of US$330.8m for the year to the end of March 2010. Operating profits were $38.6m, while net profits were $35.5m.

- The firm has survived a period of prolonged hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, which at one stage in 2007 and 2008 rendered the country's currency virtually worthless in real terms. Delta was forced to pay staff in 'kind' with food and other supplies rather than in money.

- Following Government efforts stabilise the currency in late 2008 and early 2009, the group has reported renewed growth. "With the national adoption of a stable currency and the removal of price controls, companies have been able to trade normally and to make decisions based on normal business risks and expectations," said Delta in its full-year statement for the 12 months to the end of March 2010. However, it warned that a capital expenditure "backlog" needed to be addressed. "This backlog had resulted in plant inefficiencies which, in turn, caused process losses at a level which was not sustainable in a competitive environment," said the group. "With much more predictable payback, it has now become feasible to invest in new equipment, major maintenance and replacement of containers."

- In January 2010, Delta Corp acquired a 49% stake in Schweppes Zimbabwe for an undisclosed fee.