On August 1, Delta Corporation, the leading beverage manufacture in Zimbabwe in which AB InBev holds a 40 percent stake, announced plans to invest USD 50 million in the next five years to bolster its beverage production capacity, The Herald reported. Zimbabwe's largest beer and sparkling beverages maker intends to allocate between 30% and 35% of its operating profit towards investments in plant, equipment, and ancillary services.
Delta Corporation has been on a modernization spree since 2017, investing more than USD169 million to upgrade its manufacturing and bottling plants, distribution fleet, cold drink equipment, and ancillary systems.
In December 2018, Delta entered into an agreement for the purchase 100 percent of United National Breweries (UNB), Diageo’s sorghum beer business in South Africa and owner of the Chibuku brand (inside.beer, 20.12.2018).
Delta Corporation recently invested USD 71 million to commission three new filling lines. Among the investments, USD 15 million was allocated to a new bottling line for lager beers, equipped to fill four different bottle sizes ranging from 340ml to 750ml. This upgrade is expected to increase the annual beer packaging capacity from 2.2 million hectoliters (hl) to 2.9 million hl.
Additionally, USD 20 million was utilized for a new PET soft drinks packaging line, capable of filling three different bottle sizes varying from 350ml to 2 liters, with an annual capacity of 700,000 hl.
The third packaging line, costing USD 20 million, was dedicated to Chibuku and is designed to fill 1.3 million hectoliters per year. The remaining portion of the investment was channeled into the vehicle fleet, containers, and Delta Corporation's associate company, Afdis.
Delta Corporation emphasizes its commitment to farmer empowerment, working with over 11,500 farmers, including both commercial-scale and smallholder farmers. They aim to ensure that 100% of their direct farmers are skilled, connected, and financially empowered by 2025. Efforts to integrate marginalized communities in the scheme and maintain mutually favorable terms continue.
The company's annual requirements include 35,000 tons of barley, 20,000 tons of sorghum grain, 60,000 tons of maize for various products, and 20,000 tons of sugar, mainly for Coca-Cola and maheu.
With the investments in capacity expansion, Delta Corporation seeks to further strengthen its position as a leading player in the Zimbabwean beverage market and contribute to the country's economic growth, the company said.