Kenya’s Athi River Mining, the country’s third-biggest cement maker, said on Tuesday 2008 pretax profit rose 14 per cent helped by increased exports to neighbouring countries.
Pretax profit rose to KES705m (US$8.75m) from KES620m the previous year, as turnover rose 19 percent to KES4.6bn.
"Despite the difficulties in Kenya, we increased our turnover. We are confident that we will be able to maintain and improve our performance in 2009," Surendra Bhatia, ARM’s deputy managing director, told Reuters.
Kenya, east Africa’s largest economy, was hit by a deadly post-election crisis in the first quarter of 2008.
Earnings per share rose 19 per cent to KES5.08, the firm said.
ARM also manufactures fertiliser and other industrial goods and chemicals.
The company is building a US$120m, 4,000tpd cement plant in Tanga, northern Tanzania. The firm hopes that plant, which is due to be completed late next year, will help it meet booming demand for cement from across the region.
Bhatia said ARM is also expanding its cement production capacity in Kenya to 650,000tpa.
He said the new capacity will be commissioned in early 2010.