In a memo released this week, Delta Corporation, the biggest beverages manufacturer in Zimbabwe, said its business performance was on a downward spiral.
“Naturally, we need to respond with speed to streamline our operations in line with the business performance,” the Delta memo said.
“The volumes remain soft and we need to immediately respond by rationalising our operations and reducing headcount,” it added.
Delta Corporation company secretary Alex Makamure confirmed the memo, but dismissed speculation that the “headcount” part discussed staff retrenchment.
“It’s not talking about retrenchments. At times companies have to exercise such measures such as terminating contracts for casual workers, that’s the headcount rationalisation part,” Makamure said.
Delta said it had also undertaken to freeze all internal promotions and external recruitments where exceptions would be authorised by relevant management such as the human resources director or chief executive officer.
The beverages company said it had also put on ice the recruitment of internship students, shelved unnecessary trainings, was rationalising overtime allowances, leaving liabilities and other costs.
“Human resources and heads of department, please drive these vigorously as a first step in order to avoid other more painful measures,” the company said.
In a commentary accompanying financial audited results for the year ended March 31 2015, Makamure said the slowdown in the economy resulted in a very difficult trading year.
“Consumer spend(ing) declined significantly … The company remains focused on delivering value to its stakeholders by optimising its operations and product innovations,” he said then.
Delta is a broad-based company with interests in beverages manufacturing and has the highest market capitalisation on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange with US$1 billion.