The business faced significant headwinds during the current financial year which impacted negatively on the volume performance across all the beverage categories. The consumers and traders were generally stretched due to shortages of bank notes, fundamental changes to the payment platforms and uncertainty around the introduction of bond notes. The tight liquidity conditions forced the Company to tighten the extension of credit to customers. The sourcing of imported raw materials and capital equipment was constrained by the delays in foreign remittances.
For most of the year there was limited supply of water in major urban areas, this was partly due to the drying up of dams and ground water sources as well as constraints faced by local authorities in processing raw water and repairing the reticulation infrastructure. The heavy rains that were experienced in the country resulted in damage to road infrastructure reducing market access and outdoor consumption occasions.
There were a number of fiscal and monetary policy interventions which made the operating environment increasingly uncertain. The revenue collection authority, ZIMRA and the traffic police’s aggressive collection measures impacted economic activity as not only did they affect consumer spending, the road blocks also impeded the free movement of both vehicles and cargo.
Weakening regional currencies and favourable duty regimes under the COMESA trade protocols resulted in considerable imports of soft drinks from Zambia and Mozambique.
The Retailer Development Program ran for a second year to empower our traders and develop good business skills. A total of 700 traders were trained during the year in areas that covered business management, product handling, customer care, responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol as well as post-consumer waste management. We collaborated with other value chain partners to train our traders on outlet hygiene and financial skills.