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SABMiller’s Zim unit plans job cuts

As lager volumes decline.
Delta Corporation, the Zimbabwean brewer that’s the southern African nation’s biggest company by market value, is planning to reduce employee numbers to address falling sales of lager and sparkling drinks.

“We need to immediately respond by rationalising our operations and reducing headcount,” Marshall Pemhiwa, the company’s director of human resources, said in a memorandum to heads of department, confirmed by the company. Other cost-saving measures include a recruitment freeze and cuts to training and canteen spending, according to the note.

Delta, about 23 percent owned by London-based SABMiller Plc, said in a separate statement that lager sales declined 8 percent in the three months through June, even as the Harare- based company reduced prices. Sparkling drinks were down 15 percent, while sorghum beer — made from a type of plant grown in Africa and used for food and biofuels — fell 12 percent.

“The downturn reflects weak underlying demand and the consumer preference for lower priced alternative offerings,” Delta said. The share price was unchanged at $0.97 as of 3 p.m. in Harare, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.

©2015 Bloomberg News
 

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