Delta ventures into glass making


Eric Chiriga

DELTA Beverages Ltd (Delta), Zimbabwe’s largest beverages manufacturer, has ventured into glass manufacturing.


“Th

e company has agreed to invest in glass production capacity,” Delta chairman Robbie Mupawose said.


He said the company’s investment in glass production would provide assurance of local supply of glass, which is a very important component in their business.


Zimglass (Pvt) Ltd, Fusalite and PG Industries Ltd are some of the companies that manufacture glass in Zimbabwe.


There is however a very serious shortage of the product countrywide because some of it is exported to neighbouring countries.


The equipment to be used in the manufacture of the glass is being fabricated and it is anticipated that production will begin at the end of this year.


Mupawose said more needed to be done before the economy stabilised, although the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s new monetary policy had brought under control the headlong surge of inflation that was being experienced in the country since the last quarter of 2003.


“The period of adjustment is not complete, the economy continues to contract and there is pain still to be taken in the form of business failures and job losses,” Mupawose said.


He said the high interest rates applicable outside the productive sector borrowing tended to suppress general market demand for consumer goods.

Mupawose said demand for beverages had dropped as many organisations moved aggressively to reduce stock holdings.


Beverage volumes for 2003 were 18% lower than the prior year and this resulted in the group’s turnover increasing by less than the inflation rate. He said the change in market exchange rates reduced informal exports and as a result sales volumes for December dropped by 26% as compared to the prior year.


Delta recently launched a new product range of non-carbonated beverages known as “Mr Juicy”.


For the year ended December 31, Delta turnover incrased by 460% to $580,3 billion.