8 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Delta Crowned Best Company for 2017

Photo: Michelle Tribe/Flickr
(File photo).

Beverage processor, Delta Corporation, was on Friday crowned this year's best performing company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) at the Financial Gazette's Top Companies Survey, which is bankrolled by financial services giant, Old Mutual Zimbabwe.

Delta is an integrated beverages company with a diverse portfolio of local and international beer brands and Coca-Cola-franchised sparkling and non-alcoholic beverages. It has investments in associate companies whose activities are in cordials and juice drinks, wines and spirits.

The company is listed on the ZSE, where it debuted in 1946 as Rhodesia Breweries Limited.

Last year, Delta scooped the second runner up award for the best performing company. It also won the award for the best disclosure and investor relations category for the third year running last year.

Colcom Holdings, the country's largest processor of pork and meat products, was the first runner up at the Top Companies Survey awards.

Padenga Holdings, which produces and sells crocodile skins and meat, was crowned second runner-up.

Standard Chartered Bank, a multinational banking and financial services company, was crowned the best bank, with Stanbic Bank taking the runner-up position in the banking sector.

Last year, Stanbic Bank was voted the best bank, with Standard Chartered Bank taking the runner-up spot in the banking sector.

Zimnat Lion was voted the best company in the assurance sector, while CBZ Insurance was the runner up.

Short-term insurer, NicozDiamond, won the best tangible investor returns award.

National seed manufacturer, Seed Co, won best disclosure award. Innscor Limited scooped the special mention award for "exhibiting resilience, quickly adapting to a changing environment and delivering tangible shareholder value", according to a citation by the judges.

The awards were held under the theme "Adaptation for Growth", a message to the corporate world to adjust to the current operating environment to achieve growth.

Speaking at the event, chairman of the panel of judges and analysts, Itai Chirume, a chartered financial analyst, said Zimbabwe's economy had continued to constrain growth, but innovative solutions had carried the day for many companies.

"We are hopeful that the economy will consolidate the gains from a generous rainy season coupled with the command agriculture interventions. We believe that a constrained environment offers the best opportunities for supernormal growth," he said.

He said the analysts and judges remained focused on assessing the value delivered by companies to investors and other stakeholders, but were cognisant of the quality and long-term sustainability of companies' performances.

"Consequently, due effort and diligence was applied in smoothing out random noise in the observed short-term performance of participating companies. In so doing, we remained loyal to our guiding principles, namely, consistent and positive financial performance; maintenance of a healthy financial position; and delivery of superior total returns to investors or shareholders," Chirume said.

Chirume said the judges also looked at good corporate governance practices, including providing adequate disclosures, transparency and accessibility to investors and analysts, environmental awareness and sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility.

Guest of honour, Vusi Thembikwayo, urged Zimbabweans not to give up hope in a scintillating presentation that gripped guests.

"Be patient to start small while thinking big. A lot has changed since the last time I was here, but one thing has remained consistent - people in Zimbabwe refuse to give up hope. I can say the same about companies here. I was driving from the (Harare International) airport, and saw people are running their business. If entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe can thrive in an environment where there are limited lines of credit, no foreign currency, no funding for small business, you can make it (anywhere else). People should learn from Zimbabwean entrepreneurs. They do not give up hope," said Thembikwayo.

The Financial Gazette's managing director, Pilate Machadu, said this year's Top Companies Survey was held in June, rather than the traditional year-end period, in order to capture the entire preceding financial year.

"Until now, the selection of top performing companies for the Top Companies Survey depended largely on half-year financial results, which were released between July and September of each year.

"To a large extent, this did not reflect the true performance of listed companies, as it is always possible that the outturn during the second half of the year is either better or worse than when it was during the half-year to June.

"We have thus taken a conscious decision to move the dates forward and fully capture the performance of companies during their entire financial year," Machadu said.

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