Afdis, Zimbabwe’s biggest maker and distributor of spirits, wines and ciders, says volumes grew 28% in the quarter to September, despite the impact of COVID-19.
Among Afdis’ most recognisable brands are Viceroy and Klipdrift brandy, Smirnoff vodka, Sting spirit cooler, Amarula, Hunters and Savanna ciders as well as Nederberg wines.
Sales volumes for spirits rose by 43% over the quarter compared to the same time last year. Volumes for ready-to-drink products were up 24%. However, Zimbabweans had less wine than they did last year, with sale volumes falling 38% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
“There was a general improvement in the trading environment characterised by a stability in exchange rates and prices of goods and services. The ability of customers to settle in foreign currency and the foreign currency auction system have brought the well needed relief to the industry and the economy at large,” Afdis says in its latest quarterly trade update.
The company reports that it was able to “meet all its demand and satisfy the market requirements owing to the improved foreign currency supply”.
However, demand was held back by COVID-19, which saw prohibitions on travel and social gatherings, Afdis says.
The company says the impact of coronavirus on its business will depend on how long the pandemic lasts, and what effect it will have on customers, suppliers, employees as well as how Government responds. These uncertainties, the company says, make it hard to fully estimate the full impact of COVID -19 pandemic on the business.
On whether the period of “stability” in the economy can be sustained, Afdis says this will depend on authorities maintaining policy consistency.
“The performance of the economy is largely dependent on the consistency of monetary and fiscal measures put in place by the authorities however management will continue to focus on protection of market share, innovation and cost management to enhance shareholder value.”