SABMiller’s Zimbabwe Unit Profit Falls 13% on Weak Local Economy

Delta Corporation Ltd., the Zimbabwean brewer that’s the southern African nation’s biggest company by market value, said full-year profit declined 13 percent as a sluggish local economy curbed consumer spending.

“The slowdown in the economy resulted in a very difficult trading year,” the Harare-based unit of London’s SABMiller Plc said a statement published on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange’s website on Wednesday. “Consumer spend declined significantly.”

Zimbabwe’s main stock index, which began using U.S. dollars after the country abandoned its local currency amid soaring inflation, has dropped 5.5 percent this year, the worst performance after Mauritius among 14 benchmark sub-Saharan African indexes tracked by Bloomberg. Economic growth is set to slow to 2.8 percent this year from an estimated 3.2 percent in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Delta’s net income for the year ending March 31 dropped to $92.8 million from $107.2 million, while revenue declined 4 percent to $576.6 million, the company said. Earnings per share decreased to 7.44 cents from 8.55 cents. Lager beer volume fell 17 percent and soft drinks were down 6 percent. Sorghum beer sales rose 8 percent from the previous year driven by the Chibuku Super brand and Delta is set to commission a plant to manufacture it in Bulawayo by July. Sorghum is a type of plant grown in Africa and used for food and biofuels as well as beer.

The company’s shares have increased 2.9 percent this year and were unchanged Tuesday at $1.05. Delta declared a final dividend of 2.3 cents a share.

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