EAPC confident new boss to return to profits, Kenya

EAPC confident new boss to return to profits, Kenya
Published: 16 November 2010

East Africa Portland Cement Company has appointed Mr Kephar Tande as its new managing director, replacing Mr John Nyambok who quit in July under a cloud of disagreements in the board.

Mr Tande, who has been acting as managing director since Mr Nyambok’s departure and was previously the general manager in charge of finance, is expected to give new energy to the firm’s restructuring plan.

EAPCC has been feeling the weight of increased competition, high operating costs and a costly Yen-denominated loan.

EAPCC recently commissioned a coal-firing facility as a strategy to reduce energy costs.

“We have to cut down our costs, especially production. That is why we have moved towards coal,” said board chairman Mark ole Karbolo, adding that the new multi million facility would reduce costs by about 30 per cent.

In another cost-cutting measure, the cement maker late last year rolled out a voluntary early retirement scheme that saw 27 employees leave the company this year. The employees who opted out between March and April got a tax exemption on their severance pay from Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
The finance minister announced the move in a Gazette notice dated November 5.

EAPCC has been undergoing a restructuring plan to improve its efficiency in the highly competitive cement industry.

“We are not laying off people,” Mr ole Karbolo said, adding that the company’s employee costs “were at a manageable level and would only be cut down if absolutely necessary.”

A statement released by the company in October announcing its financial performance said that the firm had spent Sh200 million to implement the early retirement and restructuring strategy.