Gombera leaves Afdis at prime stage

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  • Gombera led Afdis over an 8 year period
  • He oversaw the commissioning of a $5 million plant
  • During his tenure Delta increased its shareholding in Afdis

Johansburg: Spirits, ciders and wines maker African Distillers, which is also involved in the distribution and marketing of third-party alcoholic beverages, has announced the retirement of Managing Director, Cecil Gombera. Cecil will leave the company at the end of March 2021 having led the company for close to 8 years.

Gombera succeeded Hollingworth in 2013 having joined the company earlier in 2012 from Delta Beverages where he had spend over a decade, rising within the ranks. Before his appointment as Afdis’ Managing Director, Cecil was the company Chief Financial Officer.

Gombera together with Pearson Gowero, the current CEO of Delta Beverages, are among a group of Delta’s distinguished personnel identified in formative years of employment and subjected to leadership training.

During his tenure as the Managing Director, the company achieved significant milestones which include the commissioning of a cider’s plant in 2014. the $5 million plant increased total capacity by 59%, while production which stood at 1300 litres per hour increased to 4200 litres per hour.

The new plant substituted imports of ciders drinks from South Africa, thus significantly boosting margins. In 2019, Delta undertook to increase its investment in Afdis to majority control. After snapping a stake from Distell of South Africa, the local beverages giant emerged as the majority shareholder.

The investment can be seen as a sign of approval to the Gombera led management and strong business which they oversaw at Afdis. The company’s shares trading on the ZSE have limited free float, which means its shares are largely concentrated in big institutions such as pension funds, a development which could be interpreted as an approval of the company’s operating model, future prospects and current profitability.

Gombera leaves the company at a time, sales volumes are beginning to recover, after a turbulent 2019 and 2020 economic years. In its latest update the company reported that volumes for the 6 months period to December 2020, were 39% up on the prior year. The inflation and exchange rate driven volatility weighed heavily on production and sales across the productive sector.

Succeeding Gombera, is another Delta protégé, Stanley Muchenje who is formally a Marketing Executive Director at Delta. Muchenje similar to Gombera has previously been seconded to SabMiller over a 2 year period.

In an statement released on Thursday, Afdis said at SabMiller Muchenje had the opportunity to manage beer brands in various markets across Africa. SabMiller, was formerly Delta’s parent before it was acquired by ABInBev, the world’s largest brewer.

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