African Distillers (AfDIS) is planning to launch new products this year as the listed spirits and winemaker capitalise on existing opportunities in the market, MD Stanley Muchenje has said.
“…The drive towards local production (will see the group) cut on importation. Consumers can expect more new and exciting brands from AfDIS to hit the market this year as the company continues to see opportunities for growth despite the prevailing economic challenges,” Muchenje said.
He said AfDIS recently launched a new range of Whitestone Gin, four flavours namely Classic, Pineapple, Strawberry and Blackcurrant.
Muchenje said the new range offers ginfluent consumers an amazing premium choice of flavours in a boldly embossed bottle packing.
This new range is positioned to compete favourably with any regional and international brands on quality and accessible pricing, he said.
“It’s set to hit the market by storm judging by the overwhelming response it got from consumers when it was launched. The launch solidifies Afdis’ position as the leading local spirits, wines and ciders manufacturer,” Muchenje said.
AfDIS reported a 29% profit decline to ZWL$1.55bn in the 12 months to March 31, 2023, from ZWL$2.19bn reported in the prior comparative period, largely due to high-cost pressures.
This comes as the economy is grappling with high inflation, high-interest rates, and crippling power cuts.
“Cost containment measures were in place over the period, however, cost pressures were experienced in distribution, fuel and power, payroll, and maintenance,” AfDIS chairman Matts Valela said.
Revenue for the company increased by 56% to ZWL$41bn while operating income increased by 15% to ZWL$5.4bn.
The top-line growth was driven by increased volumes.
Volume growth was strong at 18% above the prior year mainly driven by the Ready to drink segment, which grew by 23%.
Wines and Spirits volumes grew by 16% and 14% respectively and the increase in volume was due to improved product availability, increased market penetration, and promotional activity.
The company said the acquisition of a major shareholder and partner, Distell Ltd by Heineken BV has been approved and implemented with effect from April 26, 2023.
The company continues to receive support from Distell in line with the existing franchise and technical arrangements.
It is anticipated that no adverse changes will arise from the acquisition.
In the outlook, AfDIS anticipates the trading environment to remain challenging and uncertain but expects to capitalise on opportunities that will arise to grow the business.
AfDIS will continue leveraging on ensuring full product availability, market share protection, and brand portfolio expansion for business growth.