SABMiller Zim unit pays $16m dividends

HARARE - SABMiller's Zimbabwe unit Delta Corporation (Delta) will pay out a total $16 million after declaring a $1,30 per share interim dividend in the half year to September 2013.

This comes as most Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed firms are struggling to declare dividends due to a depressed economic environment coupled with an acute liquidity crisis.

Since adoption of the multi-currency system in 2009, Delta has consistently declared dividends, indicating a healthy financial performance and strong profitability thrust despite operating in a subdued market.

During the period under review, the group’s after-tax profit increased 12 percent to $47,2 million during the period under review as cash generated from operations increased by $5,8 million over prior year to $73,4 million.

Lager volumes slumped 10 percent as gross revenue sales yielded $164 million as a result of soft consumer demand occasioned by liquidity and affordability constraints despite premium brands contribution chipping in to mitigate the impact of this volume loss on revenue.

The beverage maker’s revenue went up five percent to $315 million spurred by rising sorghum beer and non-alcoholic beverages sales, which made up for a decline in lager beer volumes.

Sorghum beer volumes increased by eight percent and posted gross sales growth of 24 percent to $76 million largely driven by the successful introduction of the premium Chibuku Super brand.

Plans to construct an $8 million line for its Chibuku Super brand are currently underway as the company looks set to maintain its dominance on the local market. Sparkling beverages contributed $110 million in gross sales whilst volumes increased by eight percent on the back of strong brands, improved availability and pack innovations in the PET range.

Working capital went up on prior year largely on increased barley funding and cereals stock holding while capital expenditure was $28,4 million aimed at improving and expanding operations.

Earnings per share rose to 3, 83 cents in the period under review, up from 3, 50 cents in same period last year.

The brewer’s stock price gained 2,50 cents to close at $1,48 Friday.

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