Afdis eyes higher sales on agric rebound

Afdis eyes higher sales on agric rebound

Harare, (New Ziana) – Alcoholic beverages maker and distributor, African Distillers (Afdis) said on Tuesday sales for the six months ending December 2020 surged 39 percent despite the Covid-19 lockdown leading to a 40 percent jump in revenue.

The distiller is eyeing higher sales in the first half of 2021 owing to an expected increase in disposable incomes due to a bumper agricultural season.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed and interrupted business, not just in Zimbabwe but the world over,” said Afdis chairman, Pearson Gowero.

“However, there has been minimal disruption to the company as operations continued during the lockdown.”

Gowero said there had been an improvement in the economic environment during the period owing to improved exchange rate stability and availability of foreign currency at the auction.

He, however, noted that limited activity in the hotel and restaurants sector owing to Covid-19 restrictions saw a 22 percent decline in wine sales during the period.

Ciders and spirits were, however, up 57 percent and 33 percent respectively.

Afdis also produces whiskies, rums, brandies, vodkas and sparkling juices.

During the period, the company saw its revenues increase on an inflation adjusted basis to $1.7 billion from $1.23 billion compared to the same period last year.

The firm, however, slumped to a $299 million net loss from a $49.3 million profit during the same period last year.
Resultantly, shareholders suffered a loss per share of 252.47 cents from a 42 cent per share profit during the same period in 2019.

The spirits maker however went on to declare an interim dividend of 50 cents per share.

Looking ahead, Gowero said the anticipated “good agricultural season is expected to benefit the economy by increasing disposable incomes and improved food supplies resulting in net savings on the food import bill.”
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