Delta invests in bottling

HARARE - Beverages manufacturer Delta Corporation (Delta) has invested $8 million in the installation of a Polyethylene terephthalate (Pet) bottling line at its Bulawayo plant, as the company seeks to increase capacity.

The bottle blow moulding and soft drinks filling line — acquired from Europe — has a rated capacity to run 15 000 bottles per hour in 300 and 500ml volumes, and also run 1 000ml and 2 000ml bottles at 14 500 bottles per hour and 12 000 bottles per hour.

It will be installed at the resuscitated Delta Sparkling Beverages plant.

“This investment saw a 20 percent improvement in capacity in terms of product availability as the plant can now package 75 000 hectolitres of beverages from 60 000 hectolitres per month,” said George Mutendadzamera, Delta corporate affairs director.

Mutendadzamera said the additional machinery was going to increase supply of sparkling beverages in 500ml, one litre and two litre Pet across the country, a move that is aimed at meeting growing market demand and changing consumer tastes and needs.

“Six similar vessels were installed at Southerton lagers manufacturing plant at a cost of $2,5 million. A new candle beer filter plant worth $1,3 million has been installed at the Belmont Plant. This equipment will enhance beer quality in flavour and quality,” he said.

Mutendadzamera said other recapitalisation projects under way included the installation of two fermentation vessels at Belmont Plant at a cost of $856 000.

Currently, Delta’s Pet products are produced at its Graniteside plant in Harare.

At the group’s recent annual general meeting, chief executive Pearson Gowero announced that the beverages manufacturer also planned to start producing Pet bottles for its opaque beer Chibuku.

The beverage company announced a 15 percent revenue growth in the first quarter of 2012 in line with its annual growth targets.

Gowero said sales grew 15 percent to $165 million during the period compared to $144 million in the same period last year.

Attributable earnings stood at $17,6 million, a 37 percent growth on prior year while Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation grew 30 percent to $30,8 million.

In the year ended December 2011, the group recorded a 36 percent revenue growth to $544,8 million while operating income grew 44 percent to $98,3 million.

Attributable income stood at $73,7 million, 36 percent up from $53 million at the end of 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation increased by 45 percent to $118,7 million.

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