Profit after-tax rose to US$104 million from US$72 million a year earlier, substantially higher than average earnings expectations by analysts. Earnings per share rose to US8,49c from US6,22c a year ago.
A final dividend of US2,23c per share was declared, bringing the total for the year to US3,40c.
“Delta has a compelling story with its pristine balance sheet, strong cash flows and solid brands,” said one analyst. “There are high barriers to entry in this industry and Delta enjoys a dominant position with a solid distribution network. We expect the group to sustain the margin expansion supported by improved efficiencies, enhanced product mix and improved supply chain management.”
Per capita consumption of approximately 16 litres per annum for beer, excluding sorghum beer and 13 litres for sparkling beverages, are low in Zimbabwe by developing world standards, suggesting tremendous growth potential off a low base, the analysts added.
Delta gained US1,1c to US136,1c yesterday.
Overall beverage volumes were flat at 6,9 million hectolitres. Lager volumes grew 4 percent, to 2,1 million hl, led by premium brands. Maheu rose 42 percent to 132 000 hl and soft drinks volumes were up 9 percent to I,6 million hl. But Soghum beer volumes declined 8 percent to 3,1 million hl.
Delta said there was a slowdown in the last quarter across all beverages, attributed to the general economic slowdown as well as the adverse effects of the excise duty increase in December 2012.
Malting tonnages grew by 6 percent to 37 000 tonnes, while plastic tonnages rose 31 percent to 9 461 tonnes on improved performance by the beverages, particularly from the sparkling beverages.
Sales value grew ahead of volume growth at 14 percent to US$631,3 million, driven by an 8 percent growth in lager sales at US$325 million. Soft drinks sales jumped 14 percent to US$231 million and sorghum beer sales rose 15 percent US$118 million. Sales for maheu rose 50 percent to US$11 million.
Cash generation remained strong, with approximately 60 percent of sales on a cash basis. Net operating cash flow was US$134 million. The balance sheet strengthened through strong operating performance.
Capital expenditure of US$83,6 million resulted in a significantly expanded balance sheet with negligible net gearing of 1 percent. Delta has maintained its dominant position, commanding approximately 96 percent of the beer market and about 92 percent of the sparkling beverages market.
The company said it expected no changes to the current trading environment.