(Bloomberg) -- Delta Corp. Ltd., Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market capitalization, said Thursday that revenue grew 40 percent in the first quarter, mainly on lager beer sales.

The company, 37 percent owned by Abi Sab Group Holding Ltd., remains under a cautionary statement over the future of Delta’s Coca-Cola manufacturing and bottling division following the merger of SABMiller Plc and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA in October 2016, Delta said in an emailed statement Thursday.

“Lager beer volume is up 56 percent over the prior year for the quarter, matching peak run rates post dollarization,” Delta said. Zimbabwe abolished its own currency in February 2009, adopting a so-called multi-currency economy in which the dollar dominates trade.

Sparkling beverages, or soda, volumes rose 23 percent over the same period last year, reflecting sales of drinks like Coca-Cola and Fanta. Sales of sorghum beer, also known as opaque beer, fell five percent mainly on shortages of packaging as Zimbabwe grapples with foreign-currency shortages to finance imports.

The company will pay a dividend of 2 cents per share on July 31.

Delta returned to profit and higher production last year after two consecutive years of decline as Zimbabwe’s economy was ravaged by shortages of inputs and foreign currency.

The company bought a controlling stake in National Breweries Plc in neighboring Zambia in 2017, its first acquisition outside Zimbabwe. National Breweries’ volumes rose 21 percent in the quarter that ended June 30, Delta said in its report, mainly on improved supply and competitive pricing.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Latham in Harare at blatham@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Karl Maier at kmaier2@bloomberg.net, Jacqueline Mackenzie, Michael Gunn

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