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Afdis output rises by 60%

Afdis sees output rising 60% in this financial year buoyed by a newly commissioned Savanna bottling plant.

Chris Muronzi

Savanna is a premium South African cider brand.

Company chairman Joe Mutizwa says the new packing line has capacity to produce around 4 200 litres of ciders per hour from initial 1300 litres per hour previously.

This equates to 15 000 bottles per hour.

Afdis operates six depots in various parts of the country.
Mutizwa was speaking at the Savanna bottling line commissioning event held at the company’s Mt Hampten office just outside the capital.

He said the US$5 million investment would give Afdis a competitive advantage, adding the production efficiencies would see the group growing into regional markets.

“We are looking at exports markets with these kind of efficiencies,” Mutizwa said.

Management said the company would seriously look at export markets in the next 12 months.

Afdis says the new plant would help lower prices by 22%-25% going forward and improve margins.

Margins were being squeezed after government introduced duty on imported beers.

Afdis started importing Savanna ciders in 2010, a year after the adoption of multi currencies.

Speaking at the same event, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha commended Afdis on its latest investment, saying the company had weathered a storm.

He admitted Zimbabwe’s economy was in trouble.

“We are submerged in a sea of gloom and doom,” Bimha said.
He noted that the beverages industry was one of the few sectors of the economy showing signs of growth in turbulent economic times.

“The beverages sector is one of the few sectors that are doing well,” Bimha said. “This is despite limited lines of credit and liquidity challenges. Companies such as Mutare Bottling Company and Schweppes have commissioned new plants over the past 18 months.”

He said government was working tirelessly to reform investment policies especially those to do with the ease of doing business.

Bimha added that cabinet had taken on board most of the recommendations on how to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

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