Natbrew’s Q3 volumes decline amid resurgence in unregulated beer marketing

  • Volumes decline 2%
  • Economic blues forcing consumers to look for cheaper alternatives
  • Natbrew is the leading opaque beer manufacturer in Zambia.

HARARE – Natbrew Zambia which is wholly owned by Zimbabwe Stock Exchange – listed heavyweight beverage company, Delta Corporation has seen its sales volumes come against the threat of a resurgence of unlicensed cheap homemade alcohol in the latest quarterly performance.

Volumes declined by 2% for the third quarter to 31 December 2020 and up 5% for the nine months to the same period.

In a trading update, Delta reported that “The category has witnessed the resurgence of illegal trading in bulk beer which trades at a discount to packaged product.”

The situation has also been exacerbated by the resurgence of inflation and currency depreciation in the Zambian economy, which in turn forces consumers to look for cheaper alternatives.

Meanwhile, the ongoing global coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to take toll on business operations. Commenting on the effect of the virus on the business, Delta said, “In Zimbabwe and Zambia, the businesses were permitted to operate albeit at reduced levels during the various phases of lockdowns. South Africa has adopted more stringent bans on the sale of alcohol.

“The selling and distribution of beverages has been curtailed by the restriction of movements and social gatherings, closure of on-premise consumption outlets and prohibition of other commercial and social activities that were deemed to pose a risk of spreading COVID-19.”

Natbrew, which markets its products under the Chibuku brand, is the leading opaque beer manufacturer in Zambia.

In January 2018, Delta reportedly snapped up an estimated 44,1 million shares from Anheusur Busch InBev SA/NV to acquire a controlling stake in Natbrew at an estimated cost of US$12 298 639,32 as part of its long-term strategy.

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