Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

AB InBev's Zimbabwe Unit Sales Fall 10% Amid Cash Shortage

Delta Corp Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, said full-year revenue fell 10 percent as consumers struggling for cash turned to cheaper brands of beer and sparkling wine.

Sales declined to $483 million in the year through March, while net income slumped 13 percent to $69.9 million, the Harare-based company said in a statement on Wednesday. Volumes of lager and sparkling wine fell 7 percent and 11 percent respectively, while sorghum beer declined 3 percent after heavy rains limited Delta’s ability to get the plant-based drink into bars and shops.

“The company experienced significant challenges during the year,” including drinkers’ limited access to cash and changes to payment platforms, Delta said. “The country received heavy rains, which limited market access and inhibited outdoor consumption occasions.’”

Delta, about 23 percent owned by the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, is battling weak consumer spending and a cash crunch in Zimbabwe amid a crisis that has seen the economy shrink by about half since 2000. The company said Coca-Cola Co. and AB InBev are exploring options to restructure a long-standing bottling agreement.

The shares are little changed this year at $0.88 each, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.

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