Home » Industry » Schweppes Eyes $1,2 Million From Exports

Local beverages manufacturer, Schweppes Zimbabwe is expecting to realise $1,2 million from exports by the end of this year, a company official has said.

The company has managed to successfully penetrate the Zambian and Botswana markets since the beginning of this year and these are contributing 10 percent to the company’s turn over.

Schweppes managing director Mr Charles Msipa confirmed the development to The Herald Business during the sidelines of a business breakfast organised by Alma academy yesterday.

“As demand on the domestic market became subdued we reintensified our focus on exports into the region and we realizing good returns from our exports into Zambia and Botswana.

“At the moment we are cultivating Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo trying to penetrate those two other markets because we only started exporting in January this year,” said Mr Msipa.

Schweppes used to export to DRC, which was once the firm’s biggest export market, but stopped during the hyperinflation era. They, however, resumed exports when the demand on the local market became subdued.

“We didn’t prioritise exporting at first because we were getting the United States Dollar from the domestic economy,” said Mr Msipa.

Economic analysts have urged local manufacturers to nurture and grow their export markets considering that their products are coming from a United States dollar base which makes the less competitive to those coming from a rand economy.

Mr Msipa said the company is working on improving efficiencies and finding ways to reduce costs so that their product are priced competitively on the export market.

The beverages company is in the process of negotiating with various partners in the selected regional markets and should start shipping products to them as soon as trade agreements have been concluded. This year the company’s regional business model is focused on driving exports of Mazoe cordials and Minute Maid juices into select regional markets.

Schweppes Zimbabwe has already restructured its set up and dedicated a team to deal with exports.

Besides the additional revenue, exports are going to facilitate utilisation of excess production capacity which will in turn increase the company’s plant efficiencies.

The move is also going to help in cost containment at the same time reducing the effects of increased raw material cost on retail pricing.

“Cost efficiencies will make us a more attractive source market and facilitate further growth into other countries where there is opportunity,” said Mr Msipa.

While local industry’s capacity utilisation has been struggling below 40 percent, the beverages, sector has been performing exceptionally well.

Source : The Herald